NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The former secretary of Workforce Solutions is speaking out after the department’s mishandling of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits was revealed. A report released Wednesday shows about $250 million in overpayments for the unemployed. About $133 million of that is tied to possible fraud.
The Legislative Finance Committee report says workers weren’t prepared for the job and made errors in a rush to get payments out. Bill McCamley, the secretary in charge at the time left the department suddenly in April.
Thursday, McCamley responded on Twitter saying his departure was for no other reason than the safety of him and his family. He says threats made to the department became common and escalated to broken windows and then a firebomb left in a state vehicle in Las Cruces.
McCamley says in March his office received a call that a gentleman blamed his wife’s unemployment issues on McCamley and was asking where he lived. That man was known to have weapons and a history of instability. McCamley also said he received letters at his home and at his mother’s home. McCamley says the threats felt different and that is when he decided to resign.
Meanwhile, the governor’s office sent the following response Thursday:
The governor has immense sympathy for former Secretary McCamley and it is sad but true to say that the entire state administration knows what he’s talking about. Hate speech, threats, personal attacks – unfortunately McCamley was not alone in being on the receiving end of these, day after day and week after week and month after month, though he in his specific role did shoulder a burdensome and undoubtedly traumatic amount of it. The governor has said many times that if constituents have a problem they should bring it – and their anger, if they have it, or whatever they are feeling they need to take out on someone – to her, to be angry with her, not to take it out on her staff or her secretaries; the governor feels very strongly that that is part of her job and she is willing to take it, but she is not willing to accept ugly attacks against the public servants in her employ who have chosen to give their time and their livelihoods to the people of this state. What McCamley described is a serious issue right now in this country – and we all have a role to play in fighting the misinformation and false equivalence fueling anger and threats of violence against anyone, not just public officials.Press Secretary for the Governor’s Office, Nora Meyers Sackett