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No Word Yet From HSD Staff Accused Of Food Stamp Fraud

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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.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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