Posted at: 01/20/2013 3:12 PM
By: The Associated Press
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A former New Mexico Public Regulation Commission employee has won a $355,000 civil jury award after finding that he was fired in retaliation for pointing out problems at the agency.
But The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the amount of damages to Aaron Feliciano is double the jury award because the case was brought under the state's 2010 Whistleblower Protection Act.
The $710,000 in damages will be paid by state taxpayers.
Feliciano was fired from his $85,000-a-year post as compliance director for the Public Regulation Commission's insurance division in 2009 after he complained that his supervisors were hiring political contributors to investigate insurance cases and that the resulting investigations were slow, costly and ineffective.