State Job Cuts and Chuck Franco’s Louisiana Trip: Families Forced to Bite the Bullet While Chuck and Friends Rack Up Taxpayer Funded Expenses on a Hunting Vacation
In June 2011, Susana Martinez, through a Reduction In Force (“RIF”), eliminated forty-four state jobs including thirty-three from the Public Education Department. These employees were not given advance notice and were escorted out of their workplaces by armed New Mexico State Police officers. In Mid-September 2011, another twenty-seven state employees lost their jobs through a second RIF. Seventy-one state employees, with families to care for and bills to pay were let go according to the Martinez Administration because of budget shortfalls.
Susana Martinez, had after all, run her campaign for governor promising to reduce the cost of government. The layoffs were completely in keeping with her platform. Funny thing–well not to those families– shortly before the second RIF, Governor Martinez’s husband, Chuck Franco, and two New Mexico State Police officers, took a state vehicle, used a state issued gas card, and left New Mexico on a vacation where the two state cops racked up large amounts of taxpayer funded overtime.
So reducing the cost of government only applied to other families, not Governor Martinez’s. Then, Martinez turned around and hired family members of one of the two state cops who got the taxpayer funded vacation. Martinez didn’t put these jobs out to bid instead she just gave them the jobs. She hired the wife of one of the two state cops into her office as a highly paid executive assistant, and later hired at least one, and possibly two, sisters of the same state police officer to work in the governor’s residence. No other state employees or RIFed employees were able to bid either position.
One wonders how many of those people RIFed by the Governor, who claimed that there were too many government employees for the budget, would have been willing to take either of those jobs that apparently state government couldn’t do without?