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A year after WisePies’ signage was removed from the Pit, a judge has ruled that the University of New Mexico Foundation must release closely guarded records related to its short-lived naming rights agreement, including proof of the company’s payments.
In a decision that transparency advocates say could have statewide implications, independent journalist Daniel Libit on Thursday scored a significant courtroom victory when state District Judge Nancy Franchini ruled that the UNM Foundation’s records are subject to the state’s public records laws.
Libit had sued the foundation over its failure to produce documents related to WisePies Pizza & Salad’s now-former naming rights agreement for the Pit, including a copy of the check and any banking documentation reflecting the company’s final $600,000 payment. The foundation, which serves as the fundraising arm of the University of New Mexico, told Libit that as a private, nonprofit entity, it did not have to comply with the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.