Albuquerque, NM - This morning, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at a field hearing that was held in downtown Albuquerque regarding proposed federal rule changes for arbitration clauses. Attorney General Balderas is the chief law enforcement officer of New Mexico and is tasked with protecting the state’s consumers and vulnerable populations. The Attorney General made it clear that he will work with the CFPB to protect New Mexico consumers and root out the bad actors that prey on low-income, distressed and minority consumers. In addressing the CFPB, Attorney General Balderas endorsed the proposed rule changes by the federal government to ban the use of one-sided, forced arbitration clauses that only benefit big businesses and harm New Mexico consumers.
Albuquerque, NM - Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a statement in response to the release of DOJ findings on the University of New Mexico’s handling of alleged sexual assaults on its campus. The findings indicate that although UNM has made positive steps toward better handling allegations of sexual assault, it is still out of compliance with Title IX and Title IV, two key laws that prohibit sex discrimination in educational institutions.
Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas kicked off Money Smart Week in New Mexico by announcing free trainings in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Rio Rancho. Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country. Partnering organizations will host their events April 23 - 30, 2016.
Santa Fe, NM—Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas sent a letter to the CEO of Alta Vista
Regional Hospital, Las Vegas Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron, members of the Las Vegas City
Council, and members of the San Miguel County Commission, regarding Alta Vista Regional
Hospital’s recent closure of its obstetrics program. The resulting loss of critical services for
women creates an unacceptable gap in care for mothers across northern New Mexico.
Artesia, NM - Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Jess Carpenter’s involuntary manslaughter conviction for the gunshot death of Joe Darras in 2011 was upheld by the New Mexico Court of Appeals. The Court agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division and denied defendant Carpenter’s appeal.
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas and 32 other attorneys general sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging the federal government to require methadone clinics to register, to query and to fully use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. New Mexico prescribers need to know if patients are getting narcotics from other health providers in order to screen out drug seekers and refer them to substance abuse treatment instead of giving them more opioids or benzodiazepines. New Mexico has some of the highest rates of opioid addiction and abuse in the nation.
Santa Fe, NM – This week, Attorney General Hector Balderas, eleven other attorneys general and the Consumer Protection Commissioner of Hawaii sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary John King urging the federal government to cease recognition of Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting body for post-secondary institutions. ACICS accredits schools like Brown Mackie College, ITT Tech and many other schools that have failed students to an utterly indefensible degree. The letter outlines a few examples of ACICS's sheer failure to maintain any semblance of accountability for the institutions to which it extends accreditation -- most shockingly, its continued accreditation of Corinthian up until the day the company declared bankruptcy, collapsed, and the educational institutions it owned shut their doors without notice to students.
Santa Fe, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that the Office of the Attorney General is receiving increased reports of IRS impersonation scam calls to New Mexico consumers. In these scams, callers claim to be from the IRS and threaten New Mexicans with legal action unless the consumers pay the alleged back taxes or owed taxes. The scammers then ask the consumer to send money by various means including prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. New Mexicans are also experiencing a variation of this scam that tries to play off the current tax season. In this scam, someone calls claiming to be from the IRS stating that they have your tax return and need to verify a few details to process your return. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information like bank numbers or credit cards.
Santa Fe, NM – In a letter sent to legislators this morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas cleared Pathways and TeamBuilders, the remaining providers in the Behavioral Health Investigation, of fraud. Upon taking office in 2015, Attorney General Balderas released the PCG audit in its entirety with minimal redactions, and made it a priority to complete the 12 pending behavioral health investigations to bring transparency and accountability to the process. The PCG audit and the Human Services Department alleged there was $36 million in overbilling by the providers. In its separate investigation, based on the allegations of the PCG and OptumHealth audits, the Office of the Attorney General found there was approximately $1.16 million in overbilling and no evidence of fraud.
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Office of the Attorney General Community Outreach Division will be holding cyber safety, financial literacy, suicide awareness and teen dating violence trainings next week in Albuquerque, Clayton and Los Lunas.