Albuquerque, N.M. – The Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) commented on new developments in Governor Martinez’s administration’s conduct in food assistance application process. According to the Center on Law and Poverty, in the past three years the Human Services Department made falsifying food assistance applications part of the institution’s common practice, and used intimidation to ensure employees followed directives from superiors.
“The new allegations against Governor Martinez’s administration are just another instance of an abuse of power to keep New Mexico’s most vulnerable residents from the services they need,” said Debra Haaland, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “The fact that employees were encouraged to falsify documents in order to cover the department’s mismanagement is unacceptable. Republican officials are working against New Mexican families instead of working to build an economy that works for everyone.”
Employees at HSD revealed that they were pressured to change income claims on SNAP applications that would have otherwise qualified for expedited processing. As a result, New Mexico families in dire need did not receive benefits in a timely manner as required.
The pattern of eliminating services for New Mexico’s most vulnerable residents started in 2013 when Governor Martinez’s administration falsely accused 15 New Mexico’s behavioral health care providers of fraud, causing many of those providers to close their doors, putting more than 1,600 people out of work, and ultimately eliminating crucial services.