Posted at: 03/03/2014 10:20 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The New Mexico Children’s Youth and Families Department is the target of a new lawsuit filed by the family of a former Tierra Blanca Ranch teen.
The lawsuit filed by Cheryl Morgan on behalf of her grandson Ryan Morgan claims CYFD had ongoing knowledge and notice of abuse, neglect, and wrongful conduct at the ranch since 2006, but continued to allow the ranch to operate and failed to prosecute accused abusers.
CYFD leaders have said in the past that New Mexico laws don't allow the agency to regulate TBR, but the suit states CYFD has a responsibility to protect all children.
The lawsuit also targets ranch owner Scott Chandler accusing him of deceptive business practices. The suit states Chandler promised to rehabilitate Ryan Morgan, but instead he allowed his staff to beat him, lock him in tents during freezing weather, and used him as free labor. Additionally, Chandler never provided Ryan Morgan with a therapist, counselor or any other professional to help with his behavioral needs.