Court orders panel to reconsider status of fired employees

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The New Mexico State Personnel Board has been ordered to reconsider if the 19 employees fired when Attorney General Hector Balderas entered office are entitled to state job protections.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the former employees are covered by the state Personnel Act unless certain exemptions apply.

The former employees include lawyers, special agents and paralegals. They argue they are entitled to protections, such as termination only for cause, that insulate them from political considerations.

Employees like legislative staffers and policymaking officials are usually exempt from those protections.

Balderas says he disagrees with the ruling and will appeal it.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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