New Mexico Attorney General (aka Aspiring Governor) Gary King stated earlier this year, if documents make there way to his office and they are not prohibited from release to the public by state law, then they are a public record subject to the normal Inspection of Public Record Act (IPRA).
Explaining his office’s procedures on New Mexico in Focus AG Gary King said, “I tell businesses if they give us information, you know for regulatory purposes or whatever, that if they give us information that they consider to be a trade secret for instance,” King explained further, “It’s not a trade secret for our office because it is not covered by attorney client privileged. If it’s not a criminal case, it is not covered by the investigative privilege…if there is not a specific exemption in state law, there is not a public policy exemption anymore…Once [documents not restricted by state law] are in our possession, they are public documents.”
When asked questions relating directly to emailgate and Governor Martinez’ leaked personal emails, King said, “If I use my private telephone to do state business, then all of my telephone records become public records, it is not just the ones where I did state business because I have essentially opened the door to that.”
Would this not apply to King’s personal email accounts as well? The Republican Party of New Mexico believes it does. If Gary King can share all the contents of Governor Martinez’ emails which make it into his office with the public (without redaction) after an IPRA, doesn’t the public deserve to learn more about what public business Attorney General Gary King discusses on his private email as well?
AG KING OWES NEW MEXICANS AN EXPLANATION,
FAIR TREATMENT FOR ALL UNDER LAW
RPNM Press Release
Communication Director firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2013
Contact: Jamie Dickerman
AG KING OWES NEW MEXICANS AN EXPLANATION, FAIR TREATMENT FOR ALL UNDER LAW
ALBUQUERQUE – In June 2012, the Republican Party of New Mexico filed a public records request for Attorney General Gary King’s emails from his private email addresses, for all documents concerning public business. AG King has repeatedly criticized Governor Martinez’ administration for certain claimed public records practices, but his office used a much different standard when they reviewed AG King’s own emails.
The Attorney General’s Office provided RPNM with a partial disclosure and redacted copy of private emails. However, during a May 17’th KNME IN FOCUS interview, Attorney General King stood behind his release of private and personal emails from Governor Susana Martinez’s private email address. (See the interview here). In the interview, he denies that there was political motivation for releasing Governor Martinez’s emails and instead claims that if an elected official uses private email for any public business, all emails on the account become public record.
Following that interview, RPNM followed up with the AG’s Office to call out the inconsistencies in his interpretation of the law and again request that he release his emails (See the full email here ). The Attorney General’s Office has since responded that those emails are not public record.
RPNM is now calling on Attorney General King to once and for all, treat all individuals the same under the law, without political purposes.
In today’s letter, RPNM Chairman John Billingsley wrote:
“Attorney General King has maintained the Governor’s private emails had to be publicly disclosed, yet he has decided to withhold his own on grounds that they are ‘private.’ This is completely inconsistent…
“As you must be aware, during that interview (with KNME) Attorney General King denied that his release of Governor Martinez’s emails was politically motivated, claiming instead that if any email concerned public business in any private email, all of the emails on the private account would be considered public records. This appears to be a blatant double standard…”
See the full letter and attachments mentioned in the letter here:
Paid For By The Republican Party of New Mexico
Not Authorized By Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee.
So, we patiently await King’s response to the RPNM IPRA request. King has fifteen days to respond. As he explained, “I think [releasing emails found on Martinez’ private account] is the outcome as dictated by the law and we as the attorney general’s office try very hard to comply with the law in New Mexico.” King told NMiF, that he needed to comply with the IPRA request which released Gov. Martinez’ personal emails, because he didn’t want any lawsuits on his hands…
While Attorney General (aka Aspiring Governor) Gary King released the full email content of Martinez’ emails to the Santa Fe Reporter, he only gave redacted copies of his own emails to RPNM. King obviously has a different standard for himself than he does for Gov. Martinez.