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Bureaucrats could use dose of sense

So you thought you had heard some pretty amazing stories about government waste and bureaucrats with nothing better to do than harass innocent citizens right?<!—->.

Thursday, October 07, 1999

So you thought you had heard some pretty amazing stories about government waste and bureaucrats with nothing better to do than harass innocent citizens right?

Well, a recent story by The Associated Press could change your mind.

It seems a cashier at a Veterans’ Administration Medical Center cafeteria in New York was fired and fined after she was allegedly caught stealing a customer’s lunch payment – $7. She denied the accusation, saying that the $7 – a $5 bill and two $1 bills – was change from breakfast.

This week, a federal court returned her money after finding that she was indeed innocent. It seems that the customer’s payment that she was accused of taking was made in seven crumpled up $1 bills. A federal detective testified to that during the hearing.

So, why did it take all kinds of tax dollars and wasted court time to come to the conclusion that this woman was innocent? Why didn’t someone notice the seven $1 bill connection before so much money went down the tubes?

The answers to both questions will probably remain elusive.

And don’t think stupidity like this only occurs in selected areas of the country, either. There are plenty of agencies and longtime bureaucrats who could use a dose of the real world where budgets matter.

While there are some good public employees, there are plenty of others who seem to completely disregard the need to spend taxpayers’ money wisely.

As Congress and the President continue to debate budget cuts and surpluses, perhaps we could start a new trend by saving a little money in New York.

The supervisor who didn’t think to check into the cafeteria scandal before allowing an innocent person to be fired should make a little contribution of his own – by covering the court costs.