Rep. Schmedes asks US Attorney General to look into Senior Care Center evictions, following no response from NM AG

Tijeras, NM– State Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras) sent a letter to US Attorney General Bill Barr today, asking for his office to investigate evictions at New Mexico senior care facilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Rep. Schmedes recently sent a letter to NM Attorney General Hector Balderas, flagging the issue for investigation on May 14, 2020. As of today, Rep. Schmedes has not received any formal response from NM AG Balderas.

The request arose following public outrage over reports from local media regarding 54 senior citizens being evicted from the Canyon Medical Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque at the height of the COVID-19 emergency. Rep. Schmedes has received personal calls from family members of the evictees, and responded by calling the evictions “outrageous” and “egregious.” In addition to forcing vulnerable seniors and their families to seek out alternative facilities to continue care, the patients were only given 24-hour’s notice of their eviction from the facility. The NM Department of Health incentivized the eviction of these individuals by offering the Canyon facility $600 per bed per day, regardless of whether a patient was in the bed or not.

“This administration violated the rights of vulnerable senior citizens, not only by rationing their healthcare but also evicting them from their homes,” said Representative Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras), “Somebody must stand up for seniors’ right in New Mexico. If we cannot obtain an in-state investigation, I’ll take the fight out of state. It’s quite possible the Americans with Disabilities Act has been violated here, but simple common sense dictates that I shouldn’t have more rights against eviction than the most vulnerable citizens in our population. Justice must be done.”