The Associated Press has a story about its trouble getting the public schedule of Gov. Susana Martinez' activities. We've requested the same thing; after the jump, read the series of emails delaying a response.

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As the AP story points out, since governors' salaries are paid with taxpayer money, many of them publicize how they're spending that money--whether they're lunching with lobbyists, visiting local schools or slaving away over budget documents.

But despite promised transparency, Martinez' office took the full 15 days allowed under New Mexico's public records law to respond to the AP's request for her schedule over November, December and the first half of January.

Coincidentally, SFR has a request pending for Martinez' full 2011 schedule. Granted, it's a much broader request, so we expected it to take a while. But since the governor is a public employee with a mandate to serve, we figure we ought to involve readers in the process of finding out more about what she actually does.

To that end, a quick timeline of our request (scroll down for full emails):

  • Dec. 19, 2011:
  • SFR sends a public records request for
  • "The 2011 daily calendar of events, meetings and appointments for Gov. Susana Martinez"
  • to Pamela Cason, records custodian for the Office of the Governor.
  • Dec. 22, 2011:
  • Cason responds, "We are reviewing your request and will respond
  • no later than January 4,
  • 2012."
  • Jan. 4, 2012:
  • Cason writes in an email to SFR, "[D]ue to the breadth of your request, we are still in the process of reviewing documents. We will need additional time to evaluate your request and to respond...We will respond no later than
  • January 18
  • , 2011 [sic]."
  • Jan. 19, 2012:
  • At 11:44 am, SFR sends an email to Cason inquiring as to why no response was sent on Jan. 18.

  • Jan. 19, 2012:
  • At 4:08 pm, Cason responds: "I apologize, I thought our response was due tomorrow. We are still reviewing documents as previously stated...We will respond no later than February 3, 2011 [sic]."
  • Feb. 3, 2012:
  • Cason writes to SFR: "We are still reviewing documents as previously stated, due to the breadth of your request, we are still in the process of reviewing documents....We will respond no later than
  • February 20
  • , 2012."

And so we wait. (Again, scroll down to the end of this post for the full emails.)

But the governor's office has limited transparency on other fronts, too. Although Governor's Office Spokesman Scott Darnell told the AP that out of 117 IPRA requests fulfilled in 2011, documents were withheld due to executive privilege on only 10 occasions, a recent IPRA request for complaints or concerns related to Health Secretary Catherine Torres resulted in five emails being withheld due to executive privilege. (Two of them involved correspondence between Torres and Martinez chief of staff Keith Gardner.)

Here's the timeline for that one:

  • Jan. 10, 2012:
  • SFR requests "All emails to and correspondences with the Governor's Office between August 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011
  • regarding either the Department of Health and/or Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres.
  • "
  • Jan. 13, 2012:
  • Cason acknowledges receipt of the request and promises to respond by Jan. 26.
  • Jan. 18, 2012:
  • SFR requests "All documents, e-mails, phone calls and communications to the governor's office between February 1, 2011 and Jan. 18, 2012, regarding any complaints or concerns about Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres' management of the Department of Health." 
  • Jan. 23, 2012:
  • Cason acknowledges Jan. 18 IPRA and promises to respond no later than Feb. 3.

  • Jan. 26, 2012:
  • Cason responds to the Jan. 10 IPRA request with one email (redacted "for attorney client privilege") and explains that others have been withheld under executive privilege.
  • Jan. 31, 2012:
  • SFR files IPRA request for a list of the emails withheld under executive privilege.
  • Feb. 3, 2012:
  • Cason responds to Jan. 18 IPRA request with one email--
  • dated Nov. 11
  • --citing concerns with Catherine Torres and the DOH. This document was not provided in response to a Dec. 19 IPRA request asking for "All emails to and correspondences with the Governor's Office
  • between Nov. 1, 2011 and Dec. 19, 2011 regarding either the Department of Health and/or Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres.
  • "
  • Feb. 3, 2012:
  • Cason responds to Jan. 31 IPRA:

The Office of the Governor withheld five emails under Executive Privilege.

 

1) 10/05/11 From: Catherine Torres To: Keith Gardner,

2) 10/30/11 From: Catherine Torres To: Keith Gardner,

3) 10/24/11 From: Catherine Torres To: Jennifer Leverence and Scott Darnell

4) 10/28/11 From: Vicky Howell To: Angela Marcucci

5) 10/20/11 From: Tiffany Smyth To: Catherine Torres.

Below, read the full email correspondence for the governor's schedule IPRA request.

[sent Feb. 3, 2012]

Ms. Schirtzinger,
 
We are still reviewing documents as previously stated, due to the breadth of your request, we are still in the process of reviewing documents.  We will need additional time to evaluate your request and to respond as allowed by NMSA, 1978, § 14-2-1(A)(8).  We will respond no later than February 20, 2012.
 
Thank you,
 
Pamela Cason
Paralegal and Record Custodian
Governor Susana Martinez
State Capitol Building
Suite 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office: (505) 476-2200
Fax: (505) 476-2207
 
From: SFR Editor [mailto:editor@sfreporter.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:21 PM
To: Cason, Pamela, GOV
Subject: Re: IPRA - 12/19/11
 
Thank you.
ALEXA SCHIRTZINGER | EDITOR
SANTA FE REPORTER | 132 E MARCY ST, SANTA FE, NM 87501
505.988.5541 X215 | CELL 505.515.5361 | editor@sfreporter.com | @SantaFeReporter | @aschirtz
 
On Jan 19, 2012, at 4:08 PM, Cason, Pamela, GOV wrote:


Ms. Schirtzinger,
I apologize, I thought our response was due tomorrow. We are still reviewing documents as previously stated, due to the breadth of your request, we are still in the process of reviewing documents.  We will need additional time to evaluate your request and to respond as allowed by NMSA, 1978, § 14-2-1(A)(8).  We will respond no later than February 3, 2011.
Thank you,
 
Pamela Cason
Paralegal and Record Custodian
Governor Susana Martinez
State Capitol Building
Suite 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office: (505) 476-2200
Fax: (505) 476-2207
 
From: aschirtz@gmail.com [mailto:aschirtz@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Alexa Schirtzinger
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 11:44 AM
To: Cason, Pamela, GOV
Cc: Hernandez, Jessica, GOV; Stackpole, Matthew, GOV
Subject: Re: IPRA - 12/19/11
 
Ms. Cason,
 
Per your email, I was expecting a response to my IPRA request yesterday (Jan. 18). What is the status of my request?
 
Alexa Schirtzinger
Editor, Santa Fe Reporter

On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM, Cason, Pamela, GOV wrote:
January 4, 2012
 
Sent via e-mail
 
Alexa Schirtzinger            
Editor, Santa Fe Reporter       
132 E MARCY ST,       
SANTA FE, NM 87501                 
505.988.5541 X215                 
CELL 505.515.5361
editor@sfreporter.com
 
Re: IPRA 11-113
 
Dear Ms. Schirtzinger,
 
On December 19, 2011, the Office of the Governor received your IPRA request for:
 
“The 2011 daily calendar of events, meetings and appointments for Gov. Susana Martinez.”
Since receiving your request, the Office of the Governor has been engaged in diligently responding to that request.  However, due to the breadth of your request, we are still in the process of reviewing documents.  We will need additional time to evaluate your request and to respond as allowed by NMSA, 1978, § 14-2-1(A)(8).   We will respond no later than January 18, 2011.
Thank you,
 
Pamela Cason
Paralegal and Record Custodian
Governor Susana Martinez
State Capitol Building
Suite 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office: (505) 476-2200
Fax: (505) 476-2207
 
From: Cason, Pamela, GOV
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:08 PM
To: 'SFR Editor'
Cc: Hernandez, Jessica, GOV; Stackpole, Matthew, GOV (Matthew.Stackpole@state.nm.us)
Subject: RE: IPRA - 12/19/11
 
December 22, 2011
 
Sent via e-mail
 
Alexa Schirtzinger            
Editor, Santa Fe Reporter       
132 E MARCY ST,       
SANTA FE, NM 87501                 
505.988.5541 X215                 
CELL 505.515.5361
editor@sfreporter.com
 
Re: IPRA 11-113
 
Dear Ms. Schirtzinger,
 
On December 19, 2011, the Office of the Governor received your IPRA request for:
 
“The 2011 daily calendar of events, meetings and appointments for Gov. Susana Martinez.”
 
We are reviewing your request and will respond no later than January 4, 2012.
 
Thank you,
 
Pamela Cason
Paralegal and Record Custodian
Governor Susana Martinez
State Capitol Building
Suite 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office: (505) 476-2200
Fax: (505) 476-2207
 
From: SFR Editor [mailto:editor@sfreporter.com]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 10:58 AM
To: Cason, Pamela, GOV
Subject: IPRA - 12/19/11
 
 
Records Custodian
Office of the Governor
Attn: Pamela Cason
Dec. 19, 2011
Dear Ms. Cason:

This is a formal request under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act. Individually and on behalf of the Santa Fe Reporter, I wish to inspect the following records:
The 2011 daily calendar of events, meetings and appointments for Gov. Susana Martinez.
I wish to inspect all records in their original format. If I require copies, I am willing to pay a reasonable fee for paper copies, and I can provide a USB drive for copying electronic records. Please notify me when the records are available for inspection. I can be reached by phone at (505) 988-5541 ext. 215 or by e-mail at editor@sfreporter.com; I will be happy to further explain any element of my request.

Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Alexa Schirtzinger
Editor, Santa Fe Reporter