Former Animal Welfare Associate Director sues employee within the department

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After losing her job with Animal Welfare on accusations of authority abuse, the former Associate Director is now suing another employee. This comes weeks after the city’s Personnel Board ruled she should get her job back.

The lawsuit claims one particular person in the Animal Welfare Department is keeping her from getting her job back.

“Much of the city’s entire action upon Ms. Brinkley was triggered by a bad actor by the name of Joel Craig,” says Attorney, Thomas Grover.

Deb Brinkley thought she had won her battle earlier this month, after losing her job as the city’s Animal Welfare Associate director this year.

“Deb felt validated that finally this phase of this entire ordeal, which we’re coming into two years since its commencement, in terms of a formal action, has come to a close,” says Grover.

About three weeks ago, the city’s Personnel Board ruled to reinstate Brinkley and to give her back pay since her firing.

Brinkley was initially accused of funneling adoptable dogs from Albuquerque shelters to her own rescue in Colorado, and protecting dangerous dogs from euthanasia.

As more than three weeks have gone by since the board’s ruling, Brinkley’s attorney says nothing has changed.

“Ms. Brinkley is not in her position as recommended by the hearing officer and as ordered by the board,” says Grover.

Brinkley is blaming Joel Craig. He is Animal Welfare’s Operations Manager.

In a new lawsuit against Craig, Brinkley claims he had been trying to remove her from her position as Associate Director since the day she was hired. On top of that, Brinkley believes the reason she still hasn’t been reinstated is because of Craig.

“I think without Craig, I don’t think any of this would’ve happened,” Grover says.

Craig tells KRQE News 13 all of Brinkley’s claims are untrue. A city spokesperson says they are still reviewing the decision by the board and weighing options to move forward.

Through all of this, Brinkely says she still wants her job back because of her devotion to animals.

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