Of the $13,500, $10,000 came from Ultra Health LLC and its founder, Duke Rodriguez, a former Lovelace Medical Center executive. The Scottsdale, Ariz., based for-profit recently took over management of Santa Fe’s New Mexico Top Organics.
UPDATED: The New Mexico Attorney General exonerated 10 health providers of fraud charges Monday, a significant reversal for Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, which accused 15 organizations of wrongdoing more than two years ago and forced many out of business.
“While we did find some regulatory violations, there did not appear to be a pattern of fraud for any of the ten completed investigations,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a two-page letter released this morning.
Balderas’ announcement means 13 of the 15 organizations accused of fraud have been cleared of wrongdoing.
The state’s decision to shut off government dollars to the organizations because of the fraud accusations disrupted care to tens of thousands of vulnerable New Mexicans struggling with mental illness or drug addiction. It also caused staff layoffs and at least one pharmacy’s temporary shutdown.
Sometimes our follow-the-money wishes do come true – and we have high hopes for this legislative session.
New Mexico cities, counties, colleges and other public entities spent nearly $7.2 million in 2014 and 2015 to lobby the state and federal government. Two-thirds went toward lobbying officials here in New Mexico.
Here’s how New Mexico In Depth collected and analyzed spending on lobbyists by public agencies in New Mexico.
One former candidate appears to have violated donation limits.
Search out data of campaign contributions delivered by lobbyists.
Explore contributions funneled by lobbyists by campaigns in an interactive graphic.
Lobbyists funneled $1.8 million to candidates and campaigns since 2013, often from clients’ checkbooks.
Sherrie Cline found herself caught in a cycle of debt thanks to a car title loan for less than $1,000. Cline’s situation isn’t unusual. About 70 percent of storefront lending customers use the money to pay for everyday living expenses like rent, utilities, credit card bills or food.