On Friday Patch published about the reinstatement of 40 state workers who lost their jobs earlier this year amid allegations they defrauded the government to get public financial aid after Tropical Storm Irene last year.
That story hit a chord with readers, with dozens of you sounding off in the comments section about the ruling, by a state arbitrator, that said the workers, some of whom make $100,000 a year, should get their jobs back because there was insufficient evidence that they lied to get the assistance.
Some of you were outraged by the ruling, saying it reflects a “business as usual” attitude on the part of state political leaders. Others laid the blame for the entire controversy on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, accusing his administration of incompetence.
Still others of you defended the workers, saying the process for applying for the storm aid was flawed and confusing and that the days following Tropical Storm Irene last August, which saw hundreds of thousands in Connecticut without power for days, were hectic and chaotic.
Here's a sampling of some of some your comments:
“We, the honest taxpayers get stuck with dishonest people helping to run our state government -what a farce. My taxes paying for liars to keep their jobs. I'm tired of hearing they didn't understand, are they smart enough to do their job???? My employer in the private sector would fire me with no appeal if I did anything dishonest!!!” - Clarice Richter
“If they were in the 'private sector' out on their butts - there has to be some political reason this happened - they all couldn't say they didn't know they were doing wrong - and as Ed mentioned, business as usual in Hartford - politics certainly do make strange bedfellows! Come on Dannel - rescind the ruling - be a man!” – Ernie Larsen
“Nutmeggers, might as well call this State ... ‘State of Liars!’ ” – Happy Percy
“I think Corrupticut says it best.” - Dennis & Catherine Cicero
“What ever happened to common sense? If you make that amount of money, why would you ever think you were entitled to assistance? They should never be allowed back. Fire them all and they should forfeit their pensions.” -Robert Parker
“Out of fairness to the state employees - it is my understanding that the process to determine whether one qualified for aide was chaotic at best. The rules changed from day to day, even the people in charge of processing the applications did not understand or even know what they were doing.” – Malvi Lennon (GOP candidate in the 2nd state Senate District).
“Those that were caused true hardship were able to apply and those already on the SNAP program had extra money put into their card for food to replace what they lost. This program was set up to help those that normally would not be eligible for food stamps that's where all the confusion came from, the state was not clear on it's intentions.” – Edie
“Many of the comments here are a sad reflection of the problem in this country. Yes, people do cheat, lie and try to make a buck at the expense of others. It happens every day, everywhere. Whatever happened to personal accountability and ethics? It's a me, me, me world so everyone can support their greedy lifestyles. And we promote it every day by putting greedy people up on a pedestal. And I do personally feel that state workers should be held to a high ethical standard. I too lost money due to the storms, but felt that money should go to those who were caused true hardship, not merely inconvenienced.” - Elizabeth N. Kristi
“When this goes on in the business world it's just accepted as part of business. There is a great deal of swindling/ corporate welfare that goes on where people make off with far more money... the bailout a few years back for example... not one person went to jail, and they basically crashed our economy. Everyone quickly forgot about it.... why? They got their bonuses even as this was going on... why? Did we get all of their names? They took taxpayer money to the tune of millions and we don't know who they are.” – C. Alexander