Another former employee of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has alleged workplace retaliation.

Court documents filed in December show the division’s former deputy director, Eileen Marrujo, filed a discrimination complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Bureau in October 2020 after resigning from her position.

The Public Education Department, which oversees the division, and Marrujo’s lawyer, Wayne Suggett, confirmed they reached a settlement in the case Dec. 9, though details won’t be publicly available until

90 days after the deal took effect. The complaint sought compensation for lost wages and benefits.

Marrujo made similar accusations against state administrators as lawsuits filed by two other former employees of the division, which offers services for people with disabilities who are seeking employment. She alleges in the complaint she was forced to resign after defending employee Richard Martinez — who had been the subject of a sexual harassment investigation at his previous job with the Department of Transportation.

In September 2018, Marrujo found the allegations of misconduct against Martinez “were not that serious,” according to court documents, and she recommended division Director Adrian Apodaca hire him.

Two months later, her complaint says, “one or more of the female employees at DOT who complained about Mr. Martinez went to the press.”

As a result of the news coverage, according to the complaint, then-Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski pressured Marrujo and Apodaca to fire Martinez, and both were placed on paid leave.

A KRQE-TV report on the allegations against Martinez said three employees at the Transportation Department had accused him of harassment and two of them said they had felt pressured into having a sexual relationship with him.

Martinez was fired in 2018 over an allegation of résumé fraud but was reinstated in 2020.

Apodaca was fired in 2018 after he was accused of sexual harassment, according to a lawsuit he filed in 2021.

Marrujo continued on the job after her paid leave, but her complaint alleges she was subjected to “bullying, harassment, and ostracizing” by her superiors.

The complaint also says a memorandum of understanding between the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Workforce Solutions removed some of Marrujo’s responsibilities overseeing the division’s finances.

The memorandum, which was later terminated due to legal issues, the complaint says, is also the subject of a whistleblower case filed by Apodaca’s successor, Diane Mourning Brown.

Mourning Brown, whose case is pending, alleges she was fired from the division director’s job in February 2021 for resisting the “illegal” plan to shift the agency from the Public Education Department to the Department of Workforce Solutions.

Marrujo was rehired by the state in January 2021 and now directs the budget office for the Public Education Department, according to the agency’s website.

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