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HSD Chief Sidonie Squier Resigns

Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier is stepping down from her cabinet-level job in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration running one of the state's largest agencies.

Squier's resignation is effective Dec. 1.

The governor said in a statement Thursday that Squier's "leadership has been valuable and important" during a time when New Mexico expanded and overhauled its Medicaid program, which provides health care to lower income New Mexicans.

In a letter to the governor, Squier described her position as the "hardest job of my dreams but the happiest time of my career."

Squier has faced criticism from legislators and social services advocates for the Human Services Department's decision to halt Medicaid payments to more than a dozen mental health providers because of allegations of fraud, mismanagement and overbillings.

Editor's Note: The news of Squier's resignation also comes on the heels of word that the Human Services Department is backing away from expanding work requirements for food stamp recipients.

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