Tag Archives: food stamps

The Line: Update On Food Benefits Court Case

June 3, 2016 – NM Political Report published a story this week on the legal team brought in to represent high level officials from the New Mexico Human Services Department in a federal case that includes allegations officials falsified food benefit applications in order to deny people emergency assistance.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty filed the court case on behalf of clients who were denied emergency assistance. A group of former and current workers in the Income Support Division allege they were told to falsify applications and add additional income. To qualify for emergency assistance, individuals must have less than 100 dollars in income and 150 dollars in assets.

The Line opinion panel discussed the case last month: Allegations Against HSD Officials

In the most recent hearings, one employee testified that the practice of falsifying applications goes back to at least 2003 , but she alleged it has increased in more recent years.  Read more at the NM Political Report: New allegations say food benefits falsification escalated in recent years

This week, host Gene Grant leads a discussion on the latest news about the case and what the public still doesn’t know.

Line Panelists:
Eddy Aragon, CEO,The Rock of Talk, Fox News ABQ 95.9 FM
Marsha Garcia, Strategies 360
Tom Garrity, Garrity Group PR
Viki Harrison, Common Cause New Mexico

The Line: Allegations Against HSD Officials

May 20, 2016 – Officials from the New Mexico Human Services Department were in court last week to testify on allegations that HSD supervisors told employees to falsify applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On New Mexico In Focus this week, producer Sarah Gustavus sits down with Joey Peters, senior reporter for NM Political Report, to talk about the most recent hearing on the HSD case in Las Cruces. HSD employees pled the Fifth nearly 100 times in court.

“The practice, according to eight former and current HSD employees who testified in federal court last money and today, amounts to falsify assets to the application of people who would otherwise qualify for emergency aid,” says Peters. According to the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, which is representing SNAP recipients in the case, individuals who qualify for emergency aid must have less than 100 dollars in income and less than 150 dollars in assets.

Late this week, state senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino called on Human Services Secretary Brent Earnest to resign. The Line opinion panel reacts to that news and the allegations

Do you think Secretary Earnest should resign? Let us know what you think in the comments below or share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

Line Panelists:
Mark Boitano, former Republican state lawmaker
Martha Burk, political psychologist and author of “Your Voice, Your Vote”
Dan McKay, Albuquerque Journal staff writer
Alicia Manzano, Strategies 360