Government employees and officials, take note.
If you thought you had a blank check to keep public records from the public, think again. If you lose a lawsuit seeking public records, you not only have to cough up the records – the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that you are responsible for attorney fees as well – for your agency AND the member of the public who had to sue you to do your job.
Meaning it is more responsible to taxpayers – your bosses – to do your job in the first place and follow New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act.
The origin story of the current case is complicated, but in brief: