Cliff and Debra Gilmore say they didn’t have any ties to New Mexico when the married couple uprooted from their lives in Vancouver, Washington, to move to Santa Fe, where they landed jobs with the state Children, Youth and Families Department in late 2020. But the Gilmores’ stints at the agency didn’t last long. They were both fired on May 6 in what they allege in a lawsuit was an act of retaliation for raising ethical concerns.
For at least the past two years, Albuquerque lawyer Antonia Roybal-Mack says that when representing some of the most vulnerable children in the state, she receives skimpy background information from the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). “Every single time we get records from CYFD, they aren’t complete. They’ll send us the file and we know there’s stuff specifically missing because we get [the missing] information from other places,” says Roybal-Mack. “We’re litigating with one hand tied behind our backs.”