Taos Schools Accused Of Violating New Mexico Open Records Law
The Taos, New Mexico, school district has violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act accoutning to the state Attorney General’s office. A year ago, The Taos News requested to see information and was denied, that broke the law.
In March of 2009, The Taos News was investigating a story about possible corruption between the school board and the IDEAS company of Santa Fe in which the board awarded a $50,000 contract in exchange for an audit of the district. When The Taos News asked to see the report, the districted refused.
The Taos News filed a formal complaint to the Attorney General’s office and on July 29, 2009, attorney Ramon Vigil sent a letter to the Attorney General defending the district’s refusal. The Attorney General’s office determined that “requested documents that contain significant factual and other nonexempt information in addition to matters of opinion should be provided for inspection with the opinion information redacted.”
On Oct. 4, 2010, Deputy Attorney General Elizabeth Glenn stated that the district was guilty of violating the IPRA and issued orders that the district comply with the law, and provide The Taos News with a copy of the report, providing the report is “still within the custody and control of the board.” The board is allowed to provide a letter stating they no longer have custody of the initial report if necessary.
Since it released its final report in July, 2009, IDEAS has been the subject of complaints by district employees and the Public Schools Insurance Authority has notified the district that it will provide a defense to the district against IDEAS’ threatened litigation until the federal suit is settled or adjudicated.
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