A Secretary's Revenge

Deborah Vasquez, a secretary in the Attorney General's Office, overstepped her authority to help a kidnaped child. After being upbraided, she spread fantasy and half-truth that have been used to discredit the attorney general's top assistant, Rob Carey.

"Her work product, her attitude, in late, out early ... Deborah Vasquez would have been fired six to eight months earlier if Carey had listened to me," says MacDonald. "I told him he had to let her go, that he couldn't afford to keep someone around who spent all her time badmouthing him.

"His response was, 'I can't do it. She's got a sick kid.'
"He personally saved her job."
MacDonald was not the only person who complained to Carey about Vasquez.

Carey's girlfriend could not understand the treatment she received at the hands of Vasquez.

Wendy Sanchez, a broadcaster at Channel 3, met Carey at a charity fund raiser. They went out on their first date just two months after Vasquez went to work at the Attorney General's Office.

"She was so rude to me. She didn't like it when I called," says Sanchez of Carey's secretary. "It got so bad that I hated to call there. I told Rob, 'You call me. I'm not calling there.'"

Sanchez was mystified later, after all the hell broke loose around Carey and she saw Vasquez's interview with another newscaster at Channel 3, Bennett Cunningham.

The secretary acted as if her problem with Carey revolved around the prosecutor's treatment of Sanchez.

Cunningham had done a lengthy interview with Vasquez about her charges of corruption at the Attorney General's Office. Though he chose not to air Vasquez's more personal allegations, he did save the tape to show to Sanchez.

"I couldn't believe it. She just went on about how Rob was unfaithful to me, how he would call up these other women and see them when I was out of town. It was incredible," says Sanchez. "She was saying this stuff to go on the air, as if she were my friend. It was outrageous."

Sanchez, who wanted to brain Cunningham for swallowing such malarkey and feeling that Sanchez needed to know about her randy boyfriend, was flabbergasted by the tape.

"To begin with, I haven't been out of town," says Sanchez. "And besides that, I know Rob Carey. He's not out dating other women. We've been together constantly since our first date. We got very serious, very fast. Rob isn't promiscuous."

And yet that is precisely the idea that Vasquez floated.
When she explained her $15 million lawsuit to state investigators, Vasquez cited Carey's promiscuity as part of the scandal at the Attorney General's Office.

She even recalled Carey's explanation for sleeping with so many young women: He had joked that he suffered from "post-ejaculation deficit disorder."

It was such a telling anecdote to enter into the official record. Even in transcript form, the crack jumps off the page.

But the woman to whom Carey made the comment says that Vasquez has completely twisted the context of the remark.

Leslie Hall, director of the Civil Division of the Attorney General's Office, says that she and Carey were kidding back and forth about the condition of men and women generally.

"It was a stupid but hilarious conversation. It was, like, commentary on, after sex, he was completely distracted," says Hall. "It had nothing to do with philandering, and certainly nothing to do with his philandering."

MacDonald, who was the third party to the conversation, agreed. He added that this entire campaign to portray Carey as a womanizer is outrageous.

"I knew Rob Carey before I took this job. I've known him for years. I can count the number of women he's dated on one hand. He's a serial monogamist."

Wendy Sanchez's mother has tried to help her 25-year-old daughter survive the nine months of relentless scrutiny Carey has undergone, and its possible effects on their relationship. The former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, Sanchez's mother is currently the head of the University of New Mexico's counseling division.

"At first, she teased me about it," recalled Sanchez. "She asked, 'With all the men to choose from, why was it necessary to fall in love with someone under investigation?' But as this dragged on and some of this really ugly stuff came out, Mom asked if Deborah had a crush on Rob.

"She told Rob, 'Deborah wouldn't do this just because she hated you.'"
Armchair psychology is questionable business, and Sanchez's mother has a limited view from her post in Albuquerque.

But there is a gender tension that informs Vasquez's complaints.
"It was really hard for me," Vasquez said when describing the difficulty of working for Carey. "I always wanted to say--being a single woman myself--always want to say to these young girls, 'No, don't get trapped in this.'

"And they were just so infatuated with him, you know? He was a hotshot."
Vasquez's sexual anxiety extends to anyone perceived as part of Carey's circle.

One of the women who worked alongside Vasquez testified about Vasquez's poor attitude on the job at the secretary's unemployment hearing.

When her request for unemployment benefits was denied, Vasquez responded to the hearing officer in writing in a petition for review.

Attacking the witness's credibility, Vasquez wrote of her former colleague that "[her] willingness to compromise herself for a paycheck can be evidenced by the fact that she went so far as sleeping with one of Mr.Carey's best friends, subsequently destroying a marriage involving two small children, with no remorse for the emotional pain she had caused."

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