Elsewhere online
June 25, 2015

N.M. Charity Under Investigation Claims Abuse by Regulator

A New Mexico nonprofit that works with homeowners to prevent foreclosure has filed a lawsuit alleging that an assistant state attorney general assigned to oversee such groups bullied its staff and harassed a female employee, the Santa Fe New Mexican writes.

The case, filed Monday, comes as state officials wrangle with the United South Broadway Corp. over an audit of its spending of taxpayer funds, as reported by the Associated Press.

The suit claims the regulator intimidated United South Broadway workers doing outreach on foreclosure prevention and sought to connect on Facebook with an employee he'd asked out for drinks, "something no other housing counselor was asked to submit to." The charity also asserts that the lawyer, a recent law-school graduate, lacked experience to lead a state consumer-protection effort stemming from a national settlement on predatory mortgage practices.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said the accusations against the assistant are under review, but he termed the lawsuit an attempt to deflect his office's inquiry into United South Broadway's spending. He said the organization has ignored requests for months to open its books to auditors.