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Patch's Poll: Should The 40 State Workers Get Their Jobs Back?

An arbitrator ruled last week that a group of state employees who lost their jobs amid an alleged scandal last year should be reinstated. Do you agree with the decision?

A group of state workers who left voluntarily, or were fired, last year amid allegations that they fraudulently got state assistance following Tropical Storm Irene were given their jobs back last week.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration accused 40 state workers — some earning more than $100,000 a year — of lying in order to obtain aid under the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program following the storm.

But the because they mistakenly filled out the assistance forms and didn’t intend to commit fraud.

"They exercised their due process rights, paid back the money received, were adequately disciplined and will be reinstated to their state positions," Sal Luciano, a union representative, told The Connecticut Mirror.

A number of Patch readers reacted to this news with criticism, so much so that .

So, do you think the arbitrator made the best decision in saying the workers should be reinstated? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Jim June 18, 2012 at 11:31 PM
PATHETIC.....
Ron June 19, 2012 at 03:28 AM
These State workers committed a crime and by definition are criminals. If a minority 16 year old kid stole $ 1,000 he would go to jail, yet State workers with more education and jobs that pay $ 100,000 a year(or more) with the best benefits in the entire world, are found innocent after stealing $ 1,000 or more each. However worse than the criminal actions of these greedy State workers who committed a knowing crime, Governor Molloy is more culpable as he is gave many of these people who committed criminal acts their jobs back with full back pay and all benefits. I hope a federal investigation is performed to account for the fraud and criminality of CT, including an intense investigation of the Governor who allowed Federal funds go to these Strate workers wihtout penalty. What right does Molloy have to condone the theft of Federal money? This was not Molloy's money but the money of all American tax payers. Hopefully a serious investigation can be performed on what legal rights Molloy has to allow the misuse of Federal money. This is more contemptable and real theft than Blago did in Chicago and he got serious jail time Again I ask, what if a poor uneducated minority youth stole $ 1,000 ? Would Molloy say the kid should be released from jail and given a job for $ 100,000 with a no lay off policy for 4 more years and medical and pension benfits greater than any person in America
DON JOHNSON June 19, 2012 at 09:32 AM
Keep the state workers, fire the Governer.
nascarblue June 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM
i do not buy the arguement that they did not know or mistakenly filled out the forms for aid, if they did not know, ok, granted we all make mistakes, they should give back the money and call it a mistake, why are we not asking for the money back, i needed assistance too, i did not fill out any forms my husband and i decided to try and do what was needed ourselves, we did if aid is needed in the future we will see, who checks up on properties when people apply for this assistance?? anyone, or are the applications taken for granted certain people need aid. now these are state employees so they must be honest and really need the aid, DONE SEND THEM THE MONEY, i totally agree with Don Johnson, fire the governor, to me it seems lately he makes up the rules as we go along, and always seems to lean on the side of the ones with money and not the typical hard working families that are struggling to get by day to day, when we fill out the forms a crew shows up and goes through my property, i am talking about a storm we had a few years back and i had alot of water damage, i signed so many forms i couldnt keep up, jobs were given back and some of these tate workers make very good money and ask for more??? also the ones given their jobs back did they recieve retro??? probably
Jack June 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Nobody reads this. You need to contact the governor.
Carol D. Fox June 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM
The SNAP program website is quite clear in the minimum/maximum amount of income required to be granted food stamps. I am sure all of of the state workers make in excess of the maximum amount of income required. I think they should be required to pay back the amount they were granted for food stamps during that period of time they applied and were granted them.
Teg June 19, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Why is anyone surprised? CT is one of the most corrupt and worst run state in the union, we are the usa's Greece, but just wait till November.... Yes then we will vote for the party line democrats that are life long politicians and by pass fresh faces with new ideas.
Deborah DiPalma June 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM
No they should not get their jobs back. If I did that at my work place they certainly would not even consider reinstating me for taking what was not mine!
Luanne DeMatto June 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Our Governor did the right thing by firing these state workers who knowingly applied for benefits they did not qualify for. The only reason they were hired back was the laws regarding arbitration - it's the unions that enabled the state workers to get their jobs back. However, I think the state should have gone further in their investigations and verified income qualifications BEFORE giving out funds for ALL who applied. The only reason the state workers were caught was because they worked for the state and their incomes were easily verified after the fact. I imagine there was significant fraud committed with the remaining applicants, and I'm all for helping those who need help, but people who earn $100k plus per year? Sorry.....not with my tax dollars.
Carol Burgess June 19, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Whether public sector or private, when workers have a union the employer needs to have just cause to fire a worker or take other disciplinary action. Sadly, where there is no union, employers can pretty much do what they want. If someone says you did wrong, you have no protection. In arbitration a neutral third party (the arbitrator) decides, based on the evidence presented by both sides, whether the action taken by the employer was based on just cause (not as high a standard as the "beyond a reasonable doubt" we hear about in court). In plainer language, it is up to the arbitrator to decide what is fair to both sides. Many individuals were accused of wrongdoing, and the arbitrator found that some (a minority) of those did not deserve to lose their jobs, based on the facts presented by both sides.
Ron June 19, 2012 at 04:18 PM
CT applies a low standard to ethics and the Irene storm debacle is just another example of this. Chris Dodd who was voted in office for 34 straight years of totally unaccomplished service stands testament to CT's political value system which includes the State employment unions.. Dodd true to form for a cheat received multiple sweet heart VIP mortgages from Country Wide Mortgage Company and was examined by the Senate Ethics Committre ( an oxymoron). Dodd like the State workers receiving the storm relief money. were exonerated, but like a dead fish didn't pass the smell test. Was the "arbitrator" a Federal criminal law offical rather than CT stand bearer so that the American taxpayers were protected,and the criminal justice system exercised to protect US taxpayers who supplied CT with this money which was fraudulently misapplied and then "accepted as business as usual" ?. I hope minority kids who get caught stealing $ 1,000 like the State workers get the same arbitrator to represent them in the criminal justice system.
Giorgio DiCesare June 19, 2012 at 04:26 PM
If they would like their jobs back they should be allowed to have them, but it will now be at the salary level that they (mistakenly) indicated on they food stamp application forms.
Debbie June 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Repaid every dime, plus interest.
Ron June 19, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The only difference from the problem Greece is having and CT, is Greece eventually may survive (really won't but has a better chance than CT). Both Greece and CT promised their State workers huge salaries and guaranteed enormous pensions, annual cost of living increases, and free medical care for life. Greece however has laws against embellzement and fraud, whereas CT condones these crimes for their employees. Can you imagine Electric Boat, Pratt and Whitney, or any private company allowing employees who embellzed over $ 1,000 and misrepresented facts (criminal fraud)... and allowing them to be rehired. It would not happen in a million ywears in private industry. Most companies have ethics clauses employees sign each year to preclude the rampart disregard of the law CT employees performed to. Obviously the State of CT does not have these standard ethic statements or policies. For the person who said they paid back every penny plus interest thinking that this justified the act, shows the depths of incompetance the State of CT as the largest employer in the state has performed to. I hope the State has serial numbers documented for their computers, desks, and equipment as I am sure these are fair game (and a accepted perk) to take home.
Jim June 19, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Does this make u honorable?. Im sure all crooks would love this deal when they get caught.
Patsy Crothers June 20, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Yes, that's a great idea!!!
Rocco Esposito June 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
If I did this, they would put me in jail. Man are we in trouble. The only way out is to form a union of voters that out numbers the public workers and sway our election, our way. Good luck with that one!
John Yannacci, Sr. June 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
What does "poor, uneducated, or minority" have to do with anything?
John Yannacci, Sr. June 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM
If the governor let this stand, he would then have to go after all the others who falsely claimed the money. That would have affected a lot of his voter base so that wasn't going to happen. Going only after state workers while others were allowed to skate would constitute selective prosecution.
Jim June 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM
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