Judge orders removal of names from online site

Jul 24, 2012

A judge has ordered Governor Susana Martinez's administration to remove the names of classified employees from an online database. 

The Monday ruling from District Court Judge Valerie Huling came after members of a state employees' union challenged the practice. An attorney for the union had argued that posting the names of classified employees is prohibited by state law and raises security concerns.

Martinez had ordered the information to be put online last year as a way to increase government transparency.

Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell tells the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the governor will make another attempt to get legislation passed that allows the information to be posted online.

When it first came online, the website contained the names, titles and salaries of the state’s exempt employees. It also had the titles and salaries of classified employees, but not their names. Martinez late last year ordered that information posted, saying it would increase government transparency. Administration officials have said the state has a legal right to publish information on the site that’s already available to the public in hard copy.

But AFSCME Council 18 attorney Shane Youtz said that’s not allowed under the law. He also has said some employees don’t want their names on the site for security reasons. A handful of classified employees’ names have been removed from the portal.

The names, salaries and titles of classified employees already are available to the public in hard copy.