The first story from KRQE's Larry Barker targeted what we would call fraud. Powerful government officials from different agencies using their position to orchestrate return to work deals
for favored employees - a.k.a. cronies.
The problem here is not that city employees retire and then come back. The problem is that they either come back to the same job that they supposedly retired from thereby receiving both their salaries and the pension, or they receive cush jobs unavailable to those around them. The practice depends solely on the willingness of a well placed supervisor or elected official and requires absolute loyalty to the patron dolling out the benefit.
In the cases of Vickie d Herrera and Felicia Giron, that patron was none other that the Almighty Alcalde himself.
KRQE-TV reported on Friday that City Hall had been rehiring retirees — in some cases through a "temporary agency," apparently an attempt to skirt the 90-day rule. In other cases, employees worked as volunteers during the 90-day period.As you can see it benefits you to become one of Marty's Minions. If you can't afford to take off the required 90 days, they simply shift your position to a temporary agency where you permanently take the position.
There are a lot of problems with this system. Most importantly, the mayor and other public officials use the PERA retirement program as a political patronage program. If you are eligible for retirement and would like to almost double your pay, you better be a card carrying member of Marty's Minions. Otherwise, you'll end up like former Officer Dennis Patrick or former Lieutenant Steve Tate... denied.
Of course if you're one of Marty's buddies (Nick Bakas) or Chief Schultz' running pal (Rob Debuck), you'll find yourself with a job making more money that you ever have in your life regardless of whether or not you are qualified to hold the position.
(Sidebar)Look... we don't have a problem with someone earning their retirement, retiring, and then going back to work - private sector executives and workers do it all the time. That is of course, providing that the person in question acutally retires. Our problem is the system of using taxpayer money to pay-off political cronies. It's certainly in the long tradition of New Mexico corruption and pay-to-play governance, but it's certainly not in the best interests of the taxpayers and those governed.
Our Eyes tell us that the 5th Floor is concerned that it will come to light that over 10% of the current force is made up of rehires. That means that some 80 to 100 officers are "double-dippin."