ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - For months, the governor's administration has claimed an audit turned up a pile of evidence of waste, fraud and mismanagement by New Mexico's behavioral health providers.
"We found $36 million in overpayments to these agencies," Human Services Department spokesperson Matt Kennicott said in August. "That's a lot of money that could've gone to help low-income New Mexicans with these services."
Because of that audit, 15 providers had their funding frozen by the state.
The providers themselves have fought back claiming they weren't afforded due process nor given specifics about the allegations against them. Political group New Mexicans Fighting to Save Behavioral Health says it will air ads statewide to make that point.
So what are the specific allegations? We don't know because for months the governor's office and the attorney general have refused to release the full audit.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government sued to get that audit released, and on Friday the AG did release the audit, or at least part of it.
More than 50 pages of the audit, a fraction of the total report, was posted to NMFOG's website late Friday afternoon, but the specifics and evidence have all been redacted.
"We are not satisfied with what we received today," said Greg Williams with NMFOG. "We have not received anything of the substance of the report, so the public still has no idea why funding was stopped to all of these entities."
An AG spokesperson told KRQE News 13 the rest of the report and the redacted sections are exempt from public records requests because the contents are part of an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
Kennicott said the state will not release the audit while that investigation is ongoing.
Williams said the exemption the AG is claiming does not apply and that NMFOG will continue suing to get the entire audit released.
"We understand that there may be some sort of criminal investigation that goes on, but audit reports of public entities are public," Williams said.
State Auditor Hector Balderas had to go to court to read the audit himself. He told KRQE News 13 in August that based on what he'd seen, there wasn't enough evidence in that audit to prove "credible allegations of fraud" against the providers.
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