Updated: Tuesday, 10 Mar 2009, 12:54 AM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 10 Mar 2009, 12:39 AM MDT
SANTA FE (KRQE) - When Albuquerque Mayor Chavez, in the wake of a News 13 investigation, ordered a stop to workers taking paper retirements to collect both wages and pension money, two state agencies decided not to follow suit.
State Land Office Human Resources Director Della Gutierrez and Educational Retirement Board Deputy Director Jeff Riggs both made a lot more money when they retired from state service.
Yet the two never left their jobs but had their work status listed as retired so they can double dip. They get their regular salaries, and they collect full pension benefits, both more than $50,000.
Even though state law defines "retired" as to "terminate employment," they and other state and municipal workers are skirting the law while their departments say it is OK.
After News 13's Larry Barker investigated these paper retirements, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez issued an ultimatum to city workers outside the police department: either retire and collect pension benefits, or stay at work and wait until retirement before collecting.
But the New Mexico Land Office and the Educational Retirement Board are not following Chavez's lead.
Spokespeople for those agencies do not believe Gutierrez or Riggs violated any rules.
Meanwhile the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association has promised to look at people who fake their retirement in order to double dip.
If it finds rules were broken, those workers may be forced to pay back their pension benefits.