New Mexico – Today the Democratic Party of New Mexico came to the defense of State Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla who pointed out a clear failure by the Governor Martinez administration and called for an independent investigation of CYFD after it was revealed that the department had two reports concerning Victoria Marten’s mother.
“Governor Martinez needs to own up to her failures—her lack of focus on the economy has led to more crime and cracks in the system that put our children in danger. Instead of facing the fact that she fails time and again to keep our communities safe and prevent heinous crimes, Governor Martinez seeks to distract the public in an effort to get away with it,” said Debra Haaland, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “Governor Martinez is dismissing legitimate concerns about real issues that can prevent child abuse, and it only shows her priority is herself, not our communities.”
Governor Martinez has failed on numerous accounts to prevent child abuse. She failed to ensure CYFD has the resources and staff needed to process cases thoroughly. After the death of Omaree Varela, she promised, “For any family in New Mexico that has faced two CYFD investigations, whether abuse or neglect was substantiated or not, I am directing CYFD to perform a supervisory high-level review involving that family.”
Instead of keeping her promise, she appointed a public relations professional to head CYFD, who launched a public image campaign costing the state millions of taxpayer dollars that could have been used to increase staff and support employees at CYFD. By neglecting real problems at CYFD, Governor Martinez puts New Mexico’s children in danger.
N.M. Senator Michael Padilla voiced legitimate concerns in calling for an investigation of Martinez’s CYFD and is seeking solutions so tragedy does not happen again, “I’m asking that commission to develop a set of recommendations and deliver those to my office and to every other leader of the state legislature, and that we take that information and turn it into legislation and we act on it before we have the death of another child.”
“If Governor Martinez was truly concerned with the safety of our children, she would welcome an investigation so that solutions can be found, but clearly she has something to hide,” Chairwoman Debra Haaland said.
Senator Michael Padilla’s full letter to the Attorney General’s office is available here.