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.
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.