Letter To The Editor: Tax Payer Will Again Be Left Holding The Bag If Immunity Given For ‘Bad Behavior’

By BARBARA F. SMITH
Los Alamos

The “New Mexico Civil Rights Act” bill going through the legislature appears not to be the flowery description that it portrays (“New Mexico’s Bill of Rights protects New Mexicans’ freedom to the rights of life and liberty, safety and happiness, free elections, freedom of religion, speech and press, equal rights for men and women, and victims’ rights”).

By focusing on Victims’ Rights, which it proposes to do, in reality it allows and promotes “bad behavior” of public employee. Because it would remove accountability of the Public employee, whether city, county or state employees, which includes all state and local police, public teachers in all towns, the State and local Judiciary, public workers in Santa Fe, etc. whose salaries, retirement and other benefits are mostly paid for by the New Mexico tax payers either directly or indirectly, to have Immunity from their “bad Behavior”. 

This Bill transfers the cost of a person’s “bad behavior” to the Department in which such a person works, such as the school system, the police department, state offices, etc., that are funded by New Mexico tax payers. Thus, instead of promoting personal responsibility, it goes backwards and supports “bad behavior” as there are no personal consequences for such behavior. The bill would make the Departments, which New Mexico tax payers fund, pay for “bad behavior”. So the burden is again born by the New Mexico tax payer.

A cap is proposed on any law suit that might be brought against the Department of a public employee who has misbehaved, actually violating our civil rights.

In this time of extreme unrest throughout our country where some people’s lives, property and happiness are being abused by public employees to the point of citizens being killed, this Bill is going in the wrong direction and should not be supported. We need to get rid of all Immunity for “bad behavior”! (Do we need to define “bad behavior”?)

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