Lawmaker calls on agencies to return bonuses OK’d by Owens
DENVER A lawmaker has called for state departments to return bonuses paid to members of former Gov. Bill Owens’ administration, saying the 12 should not get an extra two weeks’ pay for serving until the end of Owens’ term in January.Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, said those agencies should be held responsible for the $64,000 in bonuses paid to the executive directors, which averaged $5,352.”This is scandalous. We need to find a way to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Johnson said.Joe Morales, former executive director of the Department of Public Safety, said Owens, a Republican, told his top staff about the bonus about a week before the end of his term last month.”It was awarded for a job well done, loyalty and for sticking in there. We take those jobs on to serve and we hope that we make the state a better place,” Morales said.Bill Vandenberg, co-director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition, said the bonus payments were not fair to the other workers who stayed on the job during Owens’ final year in office.”Wouldn’t we all like to get paid to stay on the job we’re doing?” Vandenberg said.
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