Lots of letters today about House Speaker Thom Tillis' decision to use taxpayer money to pay two former staffers an extra month of salary after they resigned over improper intimate relationships with lobbyists. You'll see most of these in the paper, too.
I was astounded by the news that Thom Tillis had given payouts to the people on his staff who had to be let go because of what apparently were adulterous relationships. I find it hard to believe that the man who was so instrumental in getting Amendment One passed based on biblical teachings was rewarding someone for adultery.
According to your article, Tillis defended the payment as part of the “human side” that takes into account families that were affected by the job loss. Does that mean he is now going to make some payments that take into account all the families that will be affected by Amendment One? To me this is rank hypocrisy.
Adultery is very specifically identified as a major sin by the Ten Commandments. Yet he seems to avoid this but is very ardent in his stating that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. Also, all those preachers, both black and white, picked a specific statement from the Bible to justify their religious intolerance and bigotry on Amendment One. How can one activity be so wrong and one activity be rewarded?
All state employees be aware! If you want to get two extra weeks pay when you resign, you must engage in “inappropriate behavior.” Those who Speaker Thom Tillis rewarded chose this behavior But those who lost their jobs abruptly due to budget cuts were not favored with his “human side” even though some among them were also single mothers.
The families of those whose jobs were eliminated suffered many hardships through no fault of their own. My hope is that all who have lost their state jobs will remember these actions of the speaker and his associates when it is time to vote. Incidentally, when did we begin to use the United Kingdom Employment Rights Act of 1996? Apparently, when it behooves the speaker.
Georgie F. Brizendine
I was pleased to read that Speaker Thom Tillis wants to consider the “human side” when people lose their jobs (May 17 news article). I hope that means he will never again hold unemployment benefits hostage like he did last spring when over 40,000 families went without benefits for 47 days. Surely the speaker’s new concern for the jobless also means that he won’t support any cuts in unemployment benefits. It’s hard for single moms, like Tillis’ former staffer, to get by on the $350 per week maximum that business leaders are advocating.
I am also encouraged by Tillis’ interest in the labor law of the United Kingdom. North Carolina workers could benefit from protection against unfair dismissal, time off for parenting, flexible work schedules and paid time off for civic duties – all of which are guaranteed under the U.K.’s Employment Rights Act of 1996.
Since Tillis cited this law as grounds for severance pay for his staff who resigned, I am hopeful he will make it the law of the land for all North Carolinians.
Secretary-Treasurer, North Carolina State AFL-CIO
This is truly rich - Thom Tillis's compassion for his adulterous staffers. He worries that "serious family obligations still existed for each of them." Like what? Alimony payments? Lawyers' fees? The good speaker - that noted defender of marriage - apparently unbothered by adultery, did not seem to be at all worried about the families of gay people who will be losing health insurance due to his ugly and mean-spirited ammendment.
Indeed, he had to actually search for a Wikipedia entry on British labor law to justify his generous dispersal of my tax dollars to his staffers - one of whom he lived with. (But Tillis didn't know a thing about the affair, he claims!) Note to Mr. Tillis: British law also allows civil unions for gay couples with all the rights of marriage. Two words come to mind here: hypocrisy and thievery.
Gerald M. Daley
Referring to your May 18 article, "House Speaker Tillis defends payments to ex-staffers": Thank you, Speaker Tillis. What you did nullifies the NC state taxes I paid last year and for the next several years to come. That was not your money to squander and I'm afraid this will cost you and your party at election time.
Is Mr. Tillis really the right man to run our govermental affairs? First of all, he must not pay attention to miss the fact that his roommate and cheif of staff was having an out of wedlock affair with a lobbyist. And then a very simmliar tale involves policymaker Amy Hobbs. I would like to go to one of their office parties. Then he wastes 20,000 dollars of taxpayers money on 2 people that were more concerned about who they were sleeping with then goverment business. And they should have been fired. If the man was making 150,000 a year he doesn't need severance.This sounds more like a payoff. I'm a republican, but with decisions like this maybe its time for Mr. Tillis to resign. But no parting gifts.