SANTA FE, N.M. — The state of New Mexico has paid nearly $103,000 to settle a lawsuit from a former Health Department bureau chief who alleged she was retaliated against for raising concerns about chronic understaffing in the agency that inspects hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( that the settlement ends the lawsuit brought by Amber Espinosa-Trujillo.

Her lawsuit alleged her supervisors began to impede the work of her agency in 2010 by failing to fill vacant positions, which resulted in a work backlog, and instead insisted on hiring outside contractors to perform the work.

The Health Department denied the allegations in a response filed to the lawsuit, saying Espinosa-Trujillo’s “unsatisfactory work performance and unprofessional behavior” were the cause of any discipline she received.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

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