Governor responds to questions on infant death, CYFD | KOB 4

Governor responds to questions on infant death, CYFD

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: November 17, 2021 06:19 PM
Created: November 17, 2021 05:06 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After the death of an infant in Valencia County, the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) has – at this point – only released statements.

There are still questions about how their department communicated with law enforcement, or what they are doing now to ensure this doesn't happen again.

At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham cited strict confidentiality laws that prevent them from speaking to the specifics of this case. However, Lujan Grisham did say she had been in touch with Barbara Vigil, the recently appointed secretary of CYFD.

Vigil was appointed after the governor's last CYFD secretary, Brian Blalock, stepped down amid a series of transparency concerns within the department.

Ryan Laughlin: "We just want to know what the conversations are going like, behind the scenes, with ensuring that CYFD is in a good spot to prevent tragedies like what happened earlier this week from happening again..."

Lujan Grisham: "You know, I believe that secretary, I keep calling her Justice Secretary Vigil, has been a powerful and very effective leader in one of the most difficult departments. Not just here, anywhere across the state. When you're dealing with at-risk families, which means you have at-risk children, and a very, very narrow, it should be, statutory framework. So that the way in which we're accountable, we're always transparent and we have to meet all the confidentiality requirements and protections."

The governor also said they are working on a forensic report to identify what – if anything – went wrong in this case.

Watch the video above for the full story.


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