ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - One of the busiest workers at Albuquerque’s city hall isgone, leaving behind a giant hole that will probably take multiplepeople to fill.
Pete Dinelli—the deputy city attorney who headed up anumber of city offices—retired after almost 30 years ofgovernment service.
“After giving it some thought I’m emotionally andphysically exhausted. I need to take some time off,” Dinellisaid.
The longtime attorney had a long list of responsibilities,including positions as deputy city attorney, chief public safetyofficer, and director of the city’s DWI vehicle forfeitureand traffic arraignment programs.
He is best known for his work as director ofAlbuquerque’s Safe City Strike Force.
Friday Nov. 17 was his last day after 27 years in governmentservice, including seven years working for the city.
As Director of the Strike Force, Dinelli oversaw actionsagainst hundreds of substandard and crime-ridden properties acrossthe city. 52 motels were affected and 11 of those were demolished.Five problem bars were shut down.
Dinelli filed lawsuits against hundreds of graffiti vandalsand their parents, and collected tens of thousands of dollars inrestitution.
“This job in particular has been probably the mostrewarding of any job I’ve ever held in government,”Dinelli said.
Incoming Mayor R.J. Berry plans to keep the Safe City StrikeForce in operation, according to incoming Public Safety ChiefDarren White.
“It’s all being reviewed as part oftransition,” White said. “The strike force itself isgoing to continue and our goal is to hope to improve theeffectiveness of it.”
Dinelli has already met with the Berry's transition team, andprepared a report to ensure a smooth handoff.
“I really feel I can look back now and say – youknow you made a difference. You can point to a cleaner, safercity,” Dinelli said. “The reality of it is,anybody’s expendable. They replace popes and presidents. Thisshould be pretty easy to find somebody aggressive enough to take iton.”
Dinelli has applied for the U.S. Attorney position based inAlbuquerque. He has been interviewed by both New Mexico senators,but he hasn’t heard anything yet.
A District Court judge has ordered city leaders respond to a petition filed by an animal activist on the city's trap-neuter-return approach of managing feral cats.
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.
Department of Agriculture officials are warning customers to not get burned when buying firewood.
Church groups, parents and teachers met Sunday at the 20th annual Albuquerque Interfaith Convention. State education reform was their central focus.