SANTA FE (KRQE) - When Albuquerque Mayor Chavez, in the wake of a News 13investigation, ordered a stop to workers taking paper retirementsto collect both wages and pension money, two state agencies decidednot to follow suit.
State Land Office Human Resources Director Della Gutierrez andEducational Retirement Board Deputy Director Jeff Riggs both made alot more money when they retired from state service.
Yet the two never left their jobs but had their work statuslisted as retired so they can double dip. They get their regularsalaries, and they collect full pension benefits, both more than$50,000.
Even though state law defines "retired" as to "terminateemployment," they and other state and municipal workers areskirting the law while their departments say it is OK.
After News 13's Larry Barker investigated these paperretirements, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez issued an ultimatum tocity workers outside the police department: either retire andcollect pension benefits, or stay at work and wait until retirementbefore collecting.
But the New Mexico Land Office and the Educational RetirementBoard are not following Chavez's lead.
Spokespeople for those agencies do not believe Gutierrez orRiggs violated any rules.
Meanwhile the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Associationhas promised to look at people who fake their retirement in orderto double dip.
If it finds rules were broken, those workers may be forced topay back their pension benefits.
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