Amazing the things that have to be litigated in FOI land…

The First Amendment Center brings us today’s fresh heaping of outrage…

Citizen complaints brought against police are subject to public disclosure, according to a state Court of Appeals ruling that reinforces a New Mexico sunshine law granting access to government records.

The court ruled this week against the state Department of Public Safety, which refused to release complaints against one of its law enforcement officers on grounds that they were confidential personnel records.

In a unanimous ruling, the court disagreed and said the complaints were not covered by exceptions in the Inspection of Public Record Act that provide for the confidentiality of “matters of opinion in personnel files” and “letters of reference concerning employment.”

At issue was a public-records request filed by a former captain with the state Motor Transportation Police Division, Charles Cox, who was fired in 2005 for making a racist comment about a black patrolman and for discrimination against a female employee.

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