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It's been more than a week since Attorney General Gary King's office sent Gov. Susana Martinez' office a determination letter saying they mishandled SFR's public records request last summer.
For a week, the governor's office wouldn't comment to SFR about the AG letter, despite being told to send SFR "the requested records or a denial letter that includes all the information required ... unless those already have been provided" (spokesman Enrique Knell did, however, tell the Albuquerque Journal that the letter amounted to King, who is running for governor in 2012, simply "playing politics").
But finally on Tuesday evening, governor's office records custodian Pamela Cason sent SFR a response:
"Our Office has already produced to you all responsive documents for your request," Cason writes. "The Office of the Governor did not withhold or deny any responsive public documents held by our Office under any privilege or statutory exception."
To us at SFR, it's still odd that the Governor's Office won't explain why it's not providing a widely-leaked email to top-level governor's office staffers that we already know exists. We're not the only ones.
"I am curious why this email that everyone has already seen didn’t turn up in response to this request," Gwyneth Doland, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, tells SFR. "It would be helpful if they would simply explain why it didn’t."
The penalty for not complying with the state's Inspection of Public Records Act is up to $100 a day since the date of noncompliance.
Other outlets are also taking notice of SFR's troubles to get public records from the governor's office. Click here for the Columbia Journalism Review's take and here for ABQJournal Watch's take.
Read Cason's full email to SFR:
Our Office has already produced to you all responsive documents for your request of, “All emails sent from and received by firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and Gov. Susana Martinez’ Susana PAC email address from the following dates: August 17, 2011; May 2, 2012; and June 13, 2012.” The Office of the Governor did not withhold or deny any responsive public documents held by our Office under any privilege or statutory exception.
Paralegal and Record Custodian
Governor Susana Martinez
State Capitol Building
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office: (505) 476-2200
Fax: (505) 476-2207