A New Mexico woman who helped a controversial group file disability-access lawsuits is now speaking out against the serial suers who have Arizona ties.
“Yes, absolutely I have some regrets,” said Alyssa Carton, in a recent interview.
In New Mexico, Carton’s name appears on 99 lawsuits against businesses in that state. To bring the cases, she said had limited access to her attorney and was mostly working with people involved with Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID), which filed 1,700 lawsuits in Arizona last year.
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office also announced that it is probing the controversial “advocacy” group, which is already under legal scrutiny from Arizona officials.
“I should have done more research,” Carton said. “I got played.”
Carton said she has spina bifida and wanted to make a difference by helping to enforce ADA law. She said she was paid for her help. However, she grew uncomfortable with how the cases were being handled and ended up feeling used.
“I should have stood up for myself a little bit more,” Carton said. She added, "I just kind of did what I thought was my job at the time."
In a statement, top AID official Alex Callan said the group “has no involvement or interest in the outcome of (Carton’s) cases.” He also denied that AID had any involvement with cases in other states.
But an ABC15 investigation uncovered that AID expanded in multiple other states using different names.
The stations findings were confirmed by multiple attorneys in those states who have directly communicated with people who worked for AID.
Reporters also found multiple job postings for position in other states posted by AID.
Carton also specifically named two people she spoke to connected to AID: Sean Conway and Emily Branch.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.