- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A federal judge has appointed a court appointed “special master” to help ensure federally funded benefits are administered properly by the New Mexico Human Services Department.

A U.S. District Court judge appointed Thursday a veteran of the Texas Department of Human Services named Lawrence Parker who has overseen that state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Human Services Department proposed the oversight arrangement as an alternative to a more far reaching request by advocates for aid recipients that a federal receiver implement administrative changes.

New outside oversight of the agency responds in part to court testimony by state caseworkers that expedited food aid applications were falsified to meet federal deadlines - sometimes under pressure from management - likely delaying the delivery of benefits as a result.

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