Listen, I’m the first one to advocate for cutting the explosion of appointed positions from state government. But, with the culture of corruption and fraud that has plagued New Mexico under Governor Bill Richardson’s, especially in the arena of investments, this cut leaves you scratching your head:
One employee who got a pink slip said his job probably isn’t the kind the Legislature intended to eliminate.
Bruce Kohl, head of the Securities Division at the Regulation and Licensing Department, said he’s a recognized expert in his field who has put in 15 years at the division under several governors.
“I think they intended to get rid of political deadwood, not the technical professionals needed to run state government,” he said.
“I think the public has the perception that exempts are a bunch of political hacks who can’t be touched, but there are some very good people who serve as exempt employees,” he said.
Kohl, an attorney, worried more about what’s next for the division than his own future. Among other things, the division brings securities fraud cases.
This is right up there with those that were looking to gut the State Auditor’s office. There is only one way I think this makes sense. That is if the Governor’s office is going to release a statement that says Mr. Kohl was guilty of looking the other way while the Richardson Administration allowed political connections to be used to guide investment contracts that resulted in millions upon millions of dollars in losses for New Mexico taxpayers.
Of course, if the opposite were true, and Mr. Kohl played a role in bringing these practices to light, well, then it sure would appear that the Richardson Administration is going after the good guys. I don’t know which it is, but someone’s got some explaining to do.