FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2015
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
First 100 days spent streamlining operations and conducting internal review to increase transparency, strengthen prosecutions and improve public safety
Santa Fe, NM—April 10, 2015 marked the hundredth day in office for Attorney General Hector Balderas, who was elected on the promise of protecting New Mexico’s families and running a high-functioning and transparent office. He set an ambitious agenda and is working toward achieving both short and long-term goals to improve the Office of the Attorney General.
“I took office knowing that my team and I had a big job ahead of us, and I am pleased to report that we have been working hard to make the changes necessary to serve and protect our most vulnerable populations. I grew up facing many of the hardships that New Mexicans experience every day, and it is that shared experience that motivates me to be a fierce advocate and a voice for those who are underserved. We still have a great deal of work to do, but we are on our way to building an office that truly serves the people of New Mexico.”
Notable accomplishments made by the Balderas Administration during the first 100 days include:
- Streamlining Office operations by creating four distinct areas of focus: civil affairs; criminal affairs; operations; and policy and public affairs;
- Implementing new policy to ensure that for the State’s most violent offenders the punishment fits the crime in every prosecution or plea agreement proceeding;
- Creating a community outreach division and a victim services division to protect vulnerable populations and augment training and education efforts across the State;
- Building supportive partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to enhance public safety initiatives including increased trainings to combat internet crimes against children and human trafficking;
- Eliminating unnecessary costs and expenditures to save taxpayers $150,000 annually;
- Publicly releasing the audit—with limited redactions—conducted by Public Consulting Group (PCG), that was the basis for the controversial June, 2013 suspension of fifteen behavioral health providers in New Mexico;
- Lobbying for and receiving from the legislature $1.8 million—appropriated from the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Fund—to expeditiously complete pending behavioral health investigations, stemming from allegations referred to the Office after the June, 2013 suspension of fifteen New Mexico behavioral health providers; and
- Conducting an office-wide review of all pending litigation involving outside counsel and developing a set of best practices to ensure the Office takes on only meritorious cases that are in the best interest of New Mexicans.
Moving forward, Attorney General Balderas will focus on program building in newly created divisions. Robust education and outreach efforts will support long-term goals of improving transparency of operations and serving vulnerable New Mexicans.
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