ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s mayor is back-tracking on his choice to oversee the Albuquerque Police Department’s reform efforts. On Tuesday, Mayor Tim Keller’s office announced Dr. LaTesha Watson will not be the new Superintendent of Police Reform, saying her ideas and views didn’t match theirs.

The mayor’s office sent out a news release saying Dr. Watson was a great fit for the job and continuing reform at the department just a week ago. She visited for the last of the in-person meetings and the mayor decided to pull the plug. The job wasn’t officially Dr. Watson’s yet, her nomination still needed city council confirmation. It was pulled from the agenda at Monday night’s meeting.


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In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the city said Dr. Watson had ideas on how to reform the department that did not align with the city’s vision or the role of the job. A spokesperson said her ideas for restructuring APD would set back progress made in working on DOJ reforms.

Dr. Watson is currently the Director of Public Safety Accountability for the City of Sacramento. Before that, she served as the police chief in Henderson, Nevada, where she also had big plans for change. “When you assess the organization and determine what should and should not be changed, ensuring that you don’t change too much as once because you don’t want to send the organization into shock. And the changes you do make you want them long term and you want them sustainable,” said Dr. Watson to the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dr. Watson was fired from that job a couple of years in. Though it is not confirmed why, it came after the police union accused her of doling out unfair discipline, breaking rules when it came to promotions, and being a ‘union-buster.’ Dr. Watson later sued the City of Henderson alleging she was pushed out due to racism and discrimination.

The mayor’s office declined to give an interview about rescinding the job offer. The administration is back to interviewing and looking at other candidates for the role. KRQE also reached out to the police union for comment on this story but did not hear back.