New Mexico Workers’ Comp Agency Shuts Down Las Cruces Business

New Mexico’s Workers’ Compensation Administration shut down a Las Cruces business, alleging it was not complying with requirements to pay workers’ compensation insurance.

Agency workers, accompanied by Dona Ana County sheriff’s deputies, closed and locked Affordable Southwestern Doors.

The agency said business owner Robert K. Murray told state officials he wasn’t paying insurance because he was closing down and no longer had employees. However, a later check by the agency discovered the business was still in operation.

The Associated Press could not leave a message on the business’ answering machine because its memory was full. A woman who answered a number listed for Murray’s home answered with the name of another business and said the number was no longer his.

The agency’s Employer Compensation Bureau began looking at Affordable Southwestern Doors after a worker filed an on-the-job-injury claim. The bureau discovered the workers’ compensation insurance for the business had lapsed, the agency said in a news release.

The news release said the state gave Murray time to correct the problem, then summoned him to a hearing when he did not.

Murray told officials he no longer had employees and was closing the business, the agency said. Workers’ compensation officials asked him to send an affidavit stating that, but he did not respond after several months, according to the news release.

Murray was eventually summoned to a second hearing, but did not attend and was fined for noncompliance, the agency said.

A state district court in Santa Fe subsequently issued a temporary restraining order.