Nov 18, 2011 12:36 AM by Carolyn Carver, Greg Boyce

City Manager re-writing policy amid allegations, $60,000 in promotions

Pueblo's City Manager, Jerry Pacheco, is meeting once again with his bosses, the City Council, tomorrow amid allegations of abuse of power, covering up evidence and having an affair with a subordinate. Meanwhile, News 5 has uncovered that since our investigation started, the City Manager has made major changes in City Hall, from re-writing city policies to spending tens of thousands of dollars on promotions.

After our first round of public records requests in late September looking into allegations that Pacheco was having an affair with the human resources director, the top city administrator re-aligned the power structure in City Hall. Now Pacheco is no longer Marisa Walker's direct supervisor, so he says there's no conflict of interest.

But the move doesn't come without a price, nearly $60,000 in fact.

By removing Walker and seven other friends and family members from his supervision, two other city employees got promotions and big raises.

We found that Jenny Eickelman got a nearly $30,000 raise to take over Walker as a subordinate, plus five other department heads. And Bella Trujillo got a nearly $30,000 raise to take over Eickelman's old position as Assistant City Manager.

But that's not the only thing Pacheco is changing in the wake of swirling accusations.

This week, he re-wrote city policy regarding cell phones. This after his estranged wife alleged Pacheco and Walker were using city issued cell phones to send each other sexually explicit and graphic text messages. Under Pacheco's orders, both phones were shut down and wiped clean of text messages when his estranged wife got a hold of the phone.

Now with this weeks changes, city policy says the IT Department can "lock access to" or "wipe information from any lost or stolen mobile devices... upon request of the City Manager".

Before this week, that wasn't in the policy.

We obtained the policies both Pacheco and Walker signed off on in 2007 and 2010, saying they understood that employees are not entitled to any "expectation of privacy" and devices should only be used for "city business".

Eickelman says both the power structure and city policy changes have been in the works for a while, but we know both were enacted after our investigation began in late September.


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