No Word Yet From HSD Staff Accused Of Food Stamp Fraud

Jul 11, 2016

The first report from a state investigation into whether state employees falsify food stamps applications revealed evidence of the practice, but so far, no written orders from higher-ups. The report was released Friday after a judge ruled that it had to be made public.

Investigators conducted interviews and reviewed cases. They were told that for two dozen years, it’s been an unwritten rule—even standard operating procedure—to change cases that aren’t being processed quickly enough. Employees said the directive came from upper management in Santa Fe.

Some workers told investigators they were under pressure to handle cases efficiently, and were threatened with disciplinary action when deadlines weren’t met.

In court last week, lawyers questioned the quality of the report, asking why people accused of doctoring applications and upper management hadn’t been interviewed.

The investigation is ongoing.

Find the full report online at publichealthnm.org.