New Mexico district judge Valerie Huling determined recently that records requested by Eric Griego from the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) are public under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.
However, TRD illegally withheld the records. It has now agreed to pay Griego $117,000 in a settlement. TRD has also agreed not to appeal the case.
The New Mexico government has also dropped its appeal of a judicial order that it the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government $31,000 in legal fees that the group sustained when it joined Griego’s lawsuit.
The taxpayers of New Mexico will now have to pay nearly $150,000 in plaintiff’s legal fees, in addition to a possibly similar amount of legal bills the state paid its own attorney to unsuccessfully argue for its non-right to withhold these records.
Griego’s lawsuit was filed in 2006.