Alibi V.27 No.37 • Sept 13-19, 2018 

Newscity

AG Questions UNM Transparency

The News Monkey

The New Mexico Office of the Attorney General released a report last week revealing numerous violations of the Inspection of Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act allegedly perpetrated by University of New Mexico officials.

Much of the report centers around the actions of former UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs, who retired from his position last year amid accusations of misappropriating public funds to pay for a week-long golf trip to Scotland in 2015. It was discovered that the university used about $25,000 of taxpayer money to cover the expenses for 6 UNM officials who went on the fundraising vacation. After the story broke, an anonymous donor gave the school $25,000 to cover the cost of the trip.

News coverage of the story prompted the state attorney general's office to look into the matter, leading to a 15-month investigation. The official report published communications from Krebs instructing employees to delete emails and documents that would reveal details about the trip. In one email, he tells his wife to deliver a letter signed by “The Donor” to UNM Foundation executive Larry Ryan which explained the $25,000 donation. In a follow-up communication, he allegedly wrote, “No trace to us. Larry expecting. Delete everything I sent when done so nothing is discoverable.”

The report also found UNM violated the Open Meetings Act when the Board of Regents failed to give the public “meaningful notice” of its plan to vote on cutting sports programs.

Agents from the attorney general's office seized a number of documents and computer hard drives from the University of New Mexico Foundation's office last week as part of the ongoing investigation.

CYFD Introduces Child Complaint System

The state Children, Youth and Families Department announced it will be implementing a formal grievance process that will make it easier and safer for children in foster care to make complaints against abusers.

The new process was created by aged-out former foster children along with CYFD staff and will be in place starting before the end of October, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The new process will allow any child in CYFD protective custody to anonymously file a grievance against foster parents, CYFD Protective Services Division workers, foster siblings, foster youth peers, guardians ad litem, youth attorneys, CYFD contractors, shelter staff and staff at residential facilities. The complaint will be reviewed by a panel consisting of a caseworker supervisor, a foster parent and a current or former foster youth.

Navajo Candidates Back Lujan Grisham

Both presidential candidates for the Navajo Nation have endorsed Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor.

According to The News Tribune, candidates Jonathan Nez and Joe Shirley Jr. told reporters last week that they support the Democratic candidate over Republican Steve Pearce because of her record on Native American issues. Nez reportedly noted Lujan Grisham has always kept her door open for Navajo residents and Shirley believes she will strengthen the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.