Administration at odds with state auditor over mental health fraud claims

Posted at: 07/22/2013 10:20 PM
Updated at: 07/22/2013 10:21 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The New Mexico State Auditor is taking legal action against Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration after being denied the ability to review an audit commissioned by the NM Dept. of Health and Human Services.

The audit claims mental health providers around the state defrauded Medicaid by overcharging to the tune of $36 million. NM State Auditor Hector Balderas asked to review the findings, but Cabinet Secretary Sidonie Squier of the department of human services denied Balderas.

Eyewitness News 4 asked Gov. Martinez why the administration refuses to provide the audit to the State Auditor.  She replied, "the state auditor himself doesn't do audits."

"We're in charge of 600 audits every year," Balderas said. "So I'm not sure what part of the law (Gov. Martinez) isn't understanding. It is very clear we regulate every audit firm, we do every audit report, and most importantly, we govern how auditors are supposed to be auditing government."

Santa Fe District Court judge Sarah Singleton signed off on a court order filed by Balderas' office to force Squier to release the documents by Monday at 10 a.m.

Squier didn't comply with the court order. Balderas plans to take further legal action.