Check out today's dailies for news about the latest public records fight between Attorney General Gary King and Gov. Bill Richardson's office. It's about a request, under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA), for documentation related to the firing of 59 exempt state employees this January.
The Guv's office says it provided all the documentation there is—"The fact that the requestor [a local news outlet] was not satisfied with those records doesn't mean the Governor's Office must create new records or act as a clearinghouse for all of state government," Gilbert Gallegos, the Guv's deputy chief of staff, wrote in a statement e-mailed at 5:16 pm on Friday.
The AG, however, maintains in an April 12 letter that the assertion that those records don't exist is "implausible." Which is exactly what the State Land Office has said about the AG, and what activists and news organizations have said about a slew of other state agencies. (In SFR's case, an IPRA request to the Department of Health yielded documents that SFR had obtained through other means—only with certain pages removed.)
New Mexico has a pretty tough IPRA law. The only problem: Who's going to enforce it?