ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Republican Party of New Mexico declares in a new lawsuit that the District Attorney’s Office has violated the laws of public records by failing to provide records relating to a criminal case in which the party’s Headquarters began earlier this year Year was destroyed.
The DA office says the records sought need not be disclosed under the Arrest Log Information Act, but are awaiting a statement from the Attorney General’s office.
In February, Cameron Chase McCall was charged with $ 1,000 criminal property damage, a fourth degree felony, for allegedly spraying the words “still traitor” on RPNM headquarters in Albuquerque. The prosecutor’s office dropped the charges in May for lack of evidence and because McCall’s attorney provided a credible alibi, court records show. McCall was an intern with Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham when she was a US Congressman.
In June, the RPNM requested the full file from the DA office, according to the lawsuit. File manager David Pardo produced investigative papers but did not provide any of the evidence cited in a court case that dismissed the case.
The RPNM filed the lawsuit on October 29th. It is asking a judge to order the DA office to produce the records and impose fines of $ 100 per day since the IPRA was filed.
“The defendants are trying to keep secret matters of significant public concern secret, in direct violation of their obligation to disclose such information under IPRA,” the lawsuit said.
The DA office says it cannot publish the records because the Arrest Records Information Act makes it illegal to disclose certain information to those not charged with crime.
“We have asked the data subject for permission to release the information from the Arrest Record Information Act,” said Brandale Mills-Cox, spokeswoman for the DA office, in an email. “He declined this request and as a result we have disclosed all legally permissible information.”
The prosecutor’s office forwarded a letter to Attorney General Hector Balderas asking for clarification on the matter.
“We concluded that we could not publish the alibi information we received from Mr. McCall’s attorney because it was not brought to court,” wrote Adolfo Mendez, director of policy and planning at DA. to Balderas. Mills-Cox said the office is still waiting for a comment.
RPNM Executive Director Anissa Tinnin could not be reached Wednesday or Thursday.