Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Torrance County whistleblower taking heat

Torrance County Commissioner Vanessa Chavez-Gutierrez is a whistleblower. She wrote a letter to the state auditor asking for an investigation into apparent corruption in the letting of county contracts.

KOB reports that the contractor in question is harassing the Commissioners family, link.

There are really only two mechanisms for exposing governmental corruption in New Mexico; whistleblowers and investigative reporters. Except for them, taxpayers appear to be at the mercy of corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants.

It begs a question about where the responsibility lies for oversight. Is it reasonable to expect the powerless to hold the powerful accountable?

God bless folks like Vanessa Chavez-Gutierrez who have the courage to blow the whistle on corruption, but if governmental oversight is left up to a handful of whistleblowers and investigative reporters, there will always be corruption and incompetence.

The first legitimate use of power is to ensure that the power cannot be abused. It is up to government to provide oversight over its spending of our power and resources.

It is up to us to insist that the oversight functions of government, the state auditor and attorney general, have the staff and resources they need to make it impossibly difficult to steal from taxpayers without getting caught.

photo Mark Bralley

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