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Jury finds state guilty of retaliation in whistle-blower case

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 8:00 pm | Updated: 9:50 pm, Fri Aug 9, 2013.

Jennifer Smith cried and her lawyer pumped her fist Friday as a Santa Fe jury awarded Smith damages after finding she had been wrongfully fired from her job at the state Department of Health’s AIDS Services Program.

The jury found that the state agency was guilty of violating the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act and Fraud Against the Taxpayer Act for retaliating against Smith while she worked there from 2006 to 2012.

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Welcome to the discussion.

4 comments:

  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 8:26 pm on Tue, Aug 13, 2013.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 335

    Mr. Mocha:

    Who are the infamous "they"? Names, dates and place, please. Maybe Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland and the general beltway area, but in the case of New Mexico, thank God for Mississippi. As far as the line behind me, those folks you mentioned would have to know someone to get my job. They need to get real, do some research and tell the governor and her minions to release the STATE jobs. She's holding them hostage. To wit:

    According to the "Sunshine Portal", there are currently 4,920 vacancies in New Mexico state government. These NOT jobs that have been cut or eliminated by the governor, but job vacancies.

    Of the 4,920 openings, 4,805 are for worker-bees, or classified employees. The other 115 are for exempt, term limit or appointed positions. Let's say for argument's sake we ignore the 115 positions and focus on the 4,805 jobs:

    Given that the governor ran on a commitment to TRANSPARENCY in New Mexico government, why is it that the Sunshine Portal shows 4,805 jobs open but the State Personnel Office is only hiring for 638 positions? Oh, and the 638 jobs advertised by the State Personnel Office includes some of the 115 that are term sponsored.

    Again, ALL taxpayers need a tax cut, let's put at least 4,800 New Mexicans back to work, and the governor needs to take a basic math class. Go to her Sunshine Portal--it's in the budget.

     
  • mark mocha posted at 8:28 am on Mon, Aug 12, 2013.

    brnfre47 Posts: 207

    Y'know, they did a study comparing civil servant/government workers to their counterparts in the private sector and guess what they found. Drum roll please.... while the gov't worker makes almost 8% more they produce 35% less so yeah, most people ARE lucky to be employed by the great state of New Mexico, the biggest employer in the state with 23% of the workforce working for them. And another reality check. You see that line behind you? Those are people waiting in line for YOUR job so any time you decide that the stress of working for the state is just too much to take please let us know.

     
  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 5:54 pm on Sat, Aug 10, 2013.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 335

    Congratulations to Ms. Smith, her legal team and the jury!

    It's about time that someone actually listened to the awful truth that goes on in this administration's treatment of your public "servants." This is NOT the only agency that beats them up, beats them down, reminds them how lucky they are to be employed by the Great State of New Mexico, suspends mental health treatment (temporarily, of course!) then turns them loose on the on the non-state employed taxpayers.

    As much as it seems to please certain people with delusions of grandeur, we are not "tied to the whipping post."* Just employees.

    (*Tip of the hat to the Allman Brothers)

     
  • timrherrera posted at 10:33 pm on Fri, Aug 9, 2013.

    timrherrera Posts: 10

    Congratulations Jennifer. I retired from DOH last October. My last few years were sad, because I saw a once honorable agency become an agency filled with corruption and intimidation. From what I hear from old co-workers, nothing has changed. Public Health has been exposed by both you and Diane's lawsuits in which you were both awarded what you deserved. Here's hoping that ASD, which I worked for, is the next to get exposed for it's nepotistic hiring and fund mismanagement through the Robert Ortiz lawsuit concerning the WIC illegal handling of funds. If you want more information log onto www.nmdohcrisis.com. Let's make it a tri-fecta Bob. The sad part is the taxpayers eat it and the people responsible for the awarded settlements are still retained by the State of New Mexico. Tell me, "what is wrong with this picture."[sad]

     
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