A lawyer for the New Mexico Department of Health thinks SFR has information that will help her fend off a lawsuit against the state.
Last week, a process server delivered a subpoena to SFR staff writer Joey Peters. The letter from attorney Jennifer Hall asks for all notes and written communications “pertaining to any conversations” since 2009 that Peters has had with Bob Ortiz, a former DOH employee who is suing the state for alleged violations of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Hall is on contract to defend DOH against those allegations, which means fees are paid by taxpayer dollars. The subpoena warns that Peters will be held in contempt of court if he doesn’t comply. But SFR argues that the documents that Hall wants to see are privileged under state statues known as “shield laws.”
Attorney Kip Purcell filed a formal objection to the process on Tuesday.
“The communications in which a journalist engages on the job, and the information he obtains from them, are confidential except to the extent that the journalist and his employer choose to publish them,” he wrote.
View the subpoena and SFR's response below: