Lobbyist Pat Rogers Resigns From Open Government Group

Albuquerque lawyer and lobbyist Patrick Rogers has stepped down from the board of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.---

Rogers wrote in a letter that his resignation will allow NMFOG to concentrate on its First Amendment and open government mission, "and avoid further distractions by an issue that has become improperly politicized."

The issue Rogers is referencing is his communication with top officials in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration on their private email accounts. That might allow officials to circumvent the state's open records laws that let the public to inspect emails on government accounts. NMFOG has condemned the practice of officials in Martinez's administration conducting state business on private email accounts.

Emails published this week by the Santa Fe Reporter illustrate that Rogers' communication with government officials on their private accounts was much more extensive than previously revealed. He frequently sent messages to the private accounts of the aides closest to the governor, attempting to connect them with the corporate clients he represents in his lobbying practice.

Rogers wrote in his resignation letter that the "emails...were never received by the intended recipients."

But SFR reported that in one email exchange, Keith Gardner, Martinez's chief of staff, replied to an email from Rogers on Gardner's Gmail account. Rogers had requested that a meeting between Gardner and executives from Scientific Games International Inc., a provider of products to lotteries, be moved to the Inn at Loretto. "It's more private," Rogers wrote.

"That will be great," Gardner replied.

"You may be a man of many email addresses," Rogers had written to Gardner earlier, when the lobbyist was trying to orchestrate the meeting. "[But] I have most of them."

Rogers' letter:

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