State lawmakers ask attorney general for CYFD probe over closed meetings

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Three New Mexico legislators are asking the state attorney general to look into the Children, Youth and Families Department over closed meetings of the department’s task force. The child protective services task force was created in 2019 legislative session to help improve policies from CYFD’s Protective Services Division.

The Santa Fe New Mexican is reporting that three Republican state representatives, are accusing CYFD of being exclusive and secretive when it comes to who can attend the meetings. Reps. Rebecca Dow, David Gallegos, and Kelly Fajardo have reportedly sent a letter to Attorney General Hector Balderas requesting a formal opinion on whether those meetings break the law and if they are in violation of the Open Meetings Act.

According to the New Mexican, Rep. Kelly Fajardo said that out of three task force meetings, only one has been open to the public while another was moved to Santa Fe from Albuquerque with less than 24 hours notice.

Fajardo says the meeting was ultimately canceled due to weather conditions which she said wouldn’t have happened if the meeting had been in Albuquerque as planned. CYFD issued a statement to the New Mexican on Monday stating the attorney general and New Mexico Courts have made it clear that similar task forces are not subject to the Open Meetings Act as they do not make binding decisions.

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