Alleged drug, alcohol violations investigated at NFO

By John Miller jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 11/14/19

Not Forgotten Outreach, a nonprofit in Taos that provides recreational and therapeutic services for local military veterans, is under investigation after a former employee accused its administrators of allowing drug and alcohol use at its properties.

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Alleged drug, alcohol violations investigated at NFO

Posted

Updated Nov. 18 at 9 a.m.

Not Forgotten Outreach, a nonprofit in Taos that provides recreational and therapeutic services for local military veterans, is under investigation after a former employee accused its administrators of allowing drug and alcohol use at its properties.

The organization's executive director, Don Peters, denied those allegations in a press release this week.

"Since conception, NFO has always had a strict drug- and alcohol-free policy over all its programs," Peters wrote.

Only once, Peter said, has he caught a member in violation of that policy.

In 2018, he said he caught and reprimanded a member who was consuming alcohol on the premises of the nonprofit's newest property, a farm located at the intersection of Paseo del Pueblo Norte and Camino de la Placita.

Peters said veterans who participate in the program receive behavioral health therapy that "teaches them tools to use on a daily basis to deal with issues from the military" in an effort to discourage substance abuse.

But the accusing former employee, who has not been identified, claimed substance abuse was tolerated by the organization.

Last month, New Mexico Commission for Volunteerism Executive Director Sam Sokolove briefly suspended the nonprofit's AmeriCorps farming program as it looked into the allegations.

While Sokolove was unreachable for comment as of press time, Peters said their suspension was lifted after six days. Peters said he hadn't received a copy of the organization's report as of press time, but believes they found no evidence to support the former employee's allegations.

Taos Police Department is also looking into the violations at the local nonprofit, which is located less than a mile down the road from the law enforcement headquarters.

In response to a request for an update on the investigation, Taos Police Chief David Trujillo said he could not comment because the detective assigned to the case is still engaged in an ongoing investigation.

Taos News Editor Staci Matlock leases pasture from Not Forgotten Outreach.

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