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Obstructing An Investigation Into Child Abuse Death

Anti-transparency measures have a proven and lasting impact of obstructing the ability of government to maintain its own accountability.

On Wednesday morning, Tristan Justice, the western correspondent for The Federalist, published an article with updates on how Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s anti-transparent administration is directly responsible for obstructing an investigation into the death of a child whose abuse was repeatedly ignored.

The abuses suffered by little James Dunklee were deplorable. Little Dunklee was tragically beaten to death by his mother’s partner, Zerrick Marquez, who is now facing life behind bars.

Last month, in a wrongful death lawsuit, attorneys argued that under the leadership of Brian Blalock, the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) engaged in a cover-up, trying to conceal caseworker conduct related to Dunklee’s death. Blalock is no longer with the department.

Patrick Brenner, the president of the New Mexico-based Southwest Public Policy Institute, said Grisham’s commitment to anti-transparency has been disastrous and deadly.

“I have been increasingly concerned about Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s anti-transparent administration,” Brenner told The Federalist.

“Our repeated calls for the administration to acknowledge the public’s right-to-know have been met with silence,” Brenner added. “As a rule, the government is only anti-transparent when they have something to hide. Now that we have the death of a young child being covered up by CYFD, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this might be the case.”

This latest update is part of an ongoing discussion, the key takeaway being that Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration is flagrantly disregarding the public’s right to know. Policies instituted at the highest levels of New Mexico government have created a state-wide shift towards anti-transparent behavior. This has the real and lasting impact of obstructing the ability of government to maintain its own accountability.

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