Gov. Lujan Grisham announces investigation into more developmental disability providers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More people may have suffered abuse at the hands of service providers, according to state health officials.

On Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a widespread investigation.

“This is a state that will not tolerate abuse, neglect, and exploitation of any vulnerable populations in any context, in any way, any shape or fashion,” said Lujan Grisham. 

Strong words from Lujan Grisham less than two weeks after state officials announced they have terminated contracts with four service providers who help the developmentally disabled in New Mexico.

The four agencies provided services to more than 700 people in the metro area. Concerns arose when one client suffered what state officials called “severe and life-threatening injuries.”

“We are now doing what I would refer to as more of a forensic review of the entire system,” Lujan Grisham said.

Now, the governor and state health officials say another five people may have suffered abuse at the hands of service providers – three of those five people have died.

“These cases are currently being investigated by the Department of Health and by appropriate law enforcement agencies,” said NMDOH Secretary Patrick Allen. 

“Whenever there is, as difficult as it is, a horrific case of abuse, it always warrants a deeper look at the entire system,” said Lujan Grisham.

According to the state, 6,100 people receive help from service providers statewide. About a thousand have already been interviewed in-person.

As investigations into possible abuse continue, the governor has a warning for any type of service providers who receives state funding.

“If you are not providing the care that you are supposed to provide, we will find you, and you will be held accountable,” said Lujan Grisham.