New Mexico Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Children, Youth, and Families Department in May fired two senior employees who raised concerns over the agency’s use of Signal, an encrypted messaging app where staff communications were concealed.
The app’s use was supported by the governor’s office, whose team instructed agency employees to routinely delete their messages every 10 days or sooner, according to blockbuster reporting from the New Mexico investigative nonprofit Searchlight.
“Department leadership then set many of those communications to automatically delete, rendering them forever inaccessible to attorneys, members of the public and journalists,” the outlet reported, highlighting the systemic deletion as a potential violation of the New Mexico Public Records Act.
The type of oversight that led to this week’s release of more than 3,200 pages of emails to and from Dr. Anthony Fauci, exposing deceit and coverups related to the COVID-19 pandemic, is nonexistent for months of communications among state agency staff in New Mexico.