Candidate Dinelli blames Berry for mishandling of Han case

Posted at: 08/21/2013 5:36 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The mysterious death of well-known Albuquerque lawyer Mary Han has become a red-hot issue in the city’s race for mayor.

Pete Dinelli, who is challenging incumbent mayor Richard Berry, is calling for a special grand jury investigation and a special prosecutor, blaming Berry for fouling up the case.

53-year-old Mary Han’s law partner found her dead in her car in her garage in November of 2010. Medical investigators called it suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. 26 city employees responded to the call, including high ranking police and civilian officials.

Last week state Attorney General Gary King accused the Albuquerque Police Department of mishandling the case. On Wednesday, Dinelli said the blame lies with Berry – the mayor he wants to replace.

“Throughout this entire case Mayor Berry has shown a total failure of leadership and has completely mismanaged the police department,” Dinelli charged in a news conference on Civic Plaza.

Berry’s campaign issued a statement saying, “It’s appalling that Pete Dinelli would use this tragic situation for political gain.”

Paul Heh, a retired 30 year cop who served as an APD sergeant, is also running for mayor.

“I don’t want to make it political, but I hope that either the federal government or the Attorney General with a special prosecutor and a grand jury will continue to look into this,” Heh said.

Dinelli and Heh both said that what happened at the Han death scene was a gross violation of police procedure.

Attorney General King said he will consider taking the Han case to a grand jury.