Updated: Monday, 09 Mar 2009, 11:07 AM MDT
Published : Sunday, 08 Mar 2009, 5:58 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque's Mayor is announcing a big shakeup at city hall, after a News 13 Larry Barker Investigation
Larry's report showed how some government workers are faking retirements to collect both a paycheck and a pension at the same time.
On Sunday afternoon, Mayor Martin Chavez held a news conference and announced strong and immediate action.
Chavez said the people, who are retired while still working, will have to choose one or the other.
"I've spoken with Ed Adams, the Chief Administrative Officer, and I've spoken with Bob White, the City Attorney, to make sure I have the authority—they believe I do—if not Ed Adams will exercise that authority; they are being given the option to immediately come out of retirement or be separated from municipal government," Chavez said.
One of the examples chronicled in Larry's last investigation was the case of Vicki de Herra.
She retired one day, but was back at her desk a day later on the payroll of a temp agency.
De Herra had the same job and the same salary, but after her "retirement;" she was collecting a paycheck and a pension at the same time.
Many of the cases documented in the investigation involved other government agencies, but the steps taken by Chavez will only affect workers on the city's payroll.
The New Mexico Legislature is now working on a bill that would end fake retirements statewide.
Among other things, the measure would require a one year waiting period before a retired government employee could take another government job.
That bill now goes to the state Senate.
On Friday, Gov. Bill Richardson said it's time for a change, and he said he will sign the bill if the legislature sends it to him.