The University of New Mexico Foundation has told the Journal it will continue to withhold information about high-profile deals involving naming rights while it appeals a state district court judge’s ruling that its records related to one of those deals are public and subject to New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act.
The Journal has, since 2016, sought to review documents related to agreements between the foundation and local businesses whose names have been put on Lobo athletics facilities amid much fanfare. UNM itself has announced the dollar amounts pledged via media releases and sometimes during celebratory events.
The foundation cites donor privacy issues in refusing to provide the records despite a recent ruling by state District Judge Nancy Franchini that as long as the foundation was conducting the business of the university, it was subject to state transparency laws and that the records sought by independent journalist Daniel Libit were public documents.
On Thursday, Tamaya Enterprises Inc. – which entered into a $1 million baseball field naming agreement on behalf of Santa Ana Star Casino – says it will allow the UNM Foundation to release both the agreement and information pertaining to the currency of its payments. Chairwoman Melissa Paquin-Leon said TEI granted that permission to the foundation via email on Thursday.