LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico state representative has accused a hospital of firing his wife in response to his request for an audit to look into the recent transfer the hospital’s cancer center.

Rep. Rudy Martinez issued a statement Wednesday saying the firing was “the worst kind of petty politics,” the Las Cruces Sun-News reported (http://bit.ly/2wMnAFh ).

Gila Regional Medical Center CEO Taffy Arias said it was a business decision to streamline management at the hospital that resulted in Martinez’s wife and several other employees losing their jobs.

The firing was “absolutely not personal and it absolutely has nothing to do with” Martinez, Arias said.

Martinez, a Democrat, filed the audit request to ensure the cancer center transfer was legal and transparent, he said.

Martinez said his wife worked at the hospital for 15 years and was fired about a week after he sent the request for an audit.

“If the hospital administration thinks they can intimidate me, and that attacking my family will prevent me from holding them accountable, they are sorely mistaken,” Martinez said.

The transfer involved a new partnership with the University of New Mexico Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center, which replaced services by the New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants/New Mexico Cancer Center.

“We are reorganizing some of our practices to make us more efficient,” Arias said. “The whole idea that they would think that this has anything to do with them, that’s very telling.”


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com