ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A Larry Barker Investigation showing how some public employeesfake retirement in order to collect both a paycheck and pensionprovoked strong reactions from KRQE viewers.
News 13 viewers submitting online comment forms were furious aboutrevelations.
Gov. Bill Richardson also reacted tellilng KRQE News 13 it'stime for reform and that he will sign reform legislation if itreaches his desk.
Here's a sample of what News 13 viewers are saying via webmail:
Gary Peterson of Albuquerque: "KRQE is asking the wrongquestion, the residents should be OUTRAGED at the polititions andmanagement that allowed this to happen, NOT the employees that tookadvantage of the loophole. Another good question (along the sametopic) is why do civil servants get 80% of their salary for 20years of service when the tax payers funding their retirement fundonly get social security; a fraction of their pay?"
Loren Dafoe of Albuquerque: "Mr. Barker, thanks for doing realreporting. Today's world, too many times, just skims the surfacewithout getting to the core of what caused the news. Management isto be commended as well for providing you the tools to put togethersuch excellent work. From one tax payer to another, THANKS.Taxpayers need the truth and KRQE came through!"
"Michael" writes: "Mr. Barker: Thank you for your work!It’s a shame that you have to keep people honest. However, Iam glad that we have you to watch our back! Respectfully yours,Michael."
Don W. Burns: "Dear KRQE, Regarding the Larry Barker story youjust ran about state employees retiring and then going back to workI won't tell you what I am really thinking or how [expletivedeleted] off that I really am... I am so damn mad right now. I wantGary King to send these guys to prison! If the state does not sendthese gentlemen to prison and go after their assets, I will (editedfor my protection). I want this station and Mr. Barker to follow upand OFTEN with this story. This is exactly why this country isgoing to hell."
One viewer writes anonymously: "I don't think Larry Barkershould overlook the 'grand pubah' of the Middle Rio GrandeConservancy District.... The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Districthas been his private money well for at least the last twenty yearswith little or no oversight."
This anonymous viewer is on to something, and so is Larry. Wehave deleted the name of the subject of this e-mail for the moment,but all will be revealed Monday (3/9). That's because he's thesubject of Larry's next investigation, which will air Monday nightat 10.
Other viewers also are weighing in via the comments section onour website. Here's a sample:
"Theresa": "Hello, it is not like fraud - it is FRAUD! So nowthat those people have been caught committing fraud, do they haveto pay that money back? Mr. Barker, I bet those 5 or 6 people thatyou busted are just the tip of the iceberg. Now that the AG hasbeen made aware, how about a follow-up...?"
"Don-n-ABQ": They should: 1) Go to prison. 2) Have their assetsseized (but will they?)...
These are exactly the things that are damaging this country.Young people see crap like this, and figure they can do anythingwhen the grow up. Character, dignity, valor, honor, honesty,morality, ethics, should be valued. Right now they are not. Thisstate is so corrupt it is making me sick."
"Kate": "This is infuriating! No wonder NM is the laughing stockof the nation!! .... We are not allowed to even keep lights onduring our working hours or to travel to see patients in need ofservices, but these corrupt people can sit in thier posh officesand pull in double checks on the taxpayers dime?!! We need to cleanhouse and hire people with basic values and ethics to work in ourstate system...."
Final point on this subject: it's an open question as to whetherany of the "double dippers" in Larry's investigation did anythingactually illegal. The Attorney General is looking into that.
The bigger question is, is double dipping of this nature theright thing to do? KRQE will continue to track the legislation nowworking its way through the Round House that would put a stop tothis.
We also received an eloquent e-mail from one of our viewersabout another story that aired Thursday night.
Julianna Souza writes: "Thanks for the report this morningshowing the prostitutes'expressing their concerns. It is difficultto understand how women can lead that kind of lifestyle but it is afact of life. I can say that in my 37 years of nursing some of themost obnoxious, demanding, difficult patients to care for have beenpoliticians, lawyers, doctors, law enforcement and their families.Believe it or not some of the most gracious, rewarding patients tocare for have been criminals and derelicts... Thanks again forgiving the "underdogs" an opportunity to share.
KRQE always values feedback from viewers about our coverage.Simply log onto www.krqe.com and go to Contact Us in the About Us section.
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