Lawsuit: NM attorney fired after audit complaint

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A lawyer fired by the state Human Services Department says she was let go because of her criticism of an audit of government-funded mental health care.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/170VWTa) that Elizabeth Jeffreys says in a lawsuit against the department that her firing was in retaliation for her complaints to the state Attorney General’s Office and the State Auditor’s Office months before the audit. That audit resulted in a shake-up in the state’s mental health system.

A department spokesman said Friday he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit because it is pending litigation.

The department in June froze payments to 15 nonprofits that provide mental health and substance abuse services after an audit found what the agency said was a high rate of billing problems and possible mismanagement.

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