Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conflicting Standards

You just have to wonder sometimes. The state legislative leadership just deep sixed a bill that would have disallowed legislators who retire from their office from returning for one year to that body as a lobbyist. At the same time they are riding a wave of populism by passing a bill out of the house that would not allow public employees who retire from coming back to work for more that $30k if they are still drawing their pension. I would argue that the legislative prohibition on members lobbying is a much more egriegous situation.

I should say here I am one of those double dippers. I retired from State service with 20 years in 2006. I returned to my old job 15 months later when my replacement, Martin Heinrich, resigned to run for Congress. Well, he won and I am still doing this job as State Natural Resource Trustee. I had planned on staying here for the rest of Governor Richardson's term to see out a couple of big cases we are working on, but if this law passes I will have to say adios in July. Under current law I did nothing wrong in that I was gone for more than a year before I returned.

The Channel 13 Larry Barker series on 'fake retirements' are something else again. Those are illegal. Mayor Chavez knowingly let it happen in City government and then after seeing bad publicity aimed his way he threw his employees under the bus. He also said he wouldn't allow retired folks to come back and work for the city at all. Well, some of the employees....Police and Firemen can continue to do it. Everyone else is second class I guess. I wonder if there are constitutional problems here.

Finally, the truth is out on the MIddle Rio Grande Conservancy Districts sweetheart deal with its manager Shubas Shah. Watch it here on Channel 13.

I have been tryng for years to get some one to run with this story in a serious way. It finally happened. When I was General Manager of the MRGCD I tried to get Shah fired by the board for unethical practices. I was fired instead along with the agency attorney. We won a wrongful termination suit.

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