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New Mexico agency defends handling of elderly care contract

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico state agency overseeing services for the elderly is defending its decision to end its contract with a major coordinator of services such as home-delivered meals and adult daycare.

In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Aging and Long-Term Services said it terminated its contract with the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging because of concerns about the group’s handling of state and federal funds.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has criticized the cancellation of the contract as a reckless move that disrupted elderly services to thousands of New Mexico residents, echoing the concerns of Democratic state lawmakers.

She is calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate. Aging and Long-Term Services Secretary Kyky Knowles says her contract decision safeguards federal funding for elderly care.