Setting the record straight about the severance

by Joseph Maestas
May 23, 2012

As you may know, the issue of the severance payment we made to our former executive director has again been in the news – and, again, inaccurate and misleading information has been put forth. (You can read my first statement about the severance payment here.)

NM Voices for Children is currently 100 percent funded by grants from private foundations and donations from individuals. (You can see a list of our foundation funders here.) We have not received any federal, state or municipal tax payer money for some time. The last public funding we received was a small grant from the New Mexico Department of Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) program for teen health education. That grant ended in June 2011. Eric Griego agreed to resign in October 2011.

The amount of the severance payment has also been greatly exaggerated. The actual amount was $24,000, which was the equivalent of three months’ salary. A severance payment of three months’ salary for an executive director is not uncommon in the nonprofit sector under these circumstances, and the Board of Directors made the decision to grant severance only after careful consideration and due diligence.

It is unfortunate that a personnel decision made by the Board has become fodder for attacks in a congressional campaign. We respectfully request that anyone who is putting forth inaccurate and misleading information regarding our organization cease to do so.

Joseph Maestas is Chair of New Mexico Voices for Children’s Board of Directors.