SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has begun posting the names and salaries of classified state employees at a new online location after a judge ruled last month that she remove the names from the online New Mexico Sunshine Portal.
Martinez added the names of classified workers, their titles and salaries to the Sunshine Portal last year. That added to a previously available list of employees exempt from civil service protection.
Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council sued, saying the law authorizing the Sunshine Portal called only for the exempt employees to be included.
The governor removed the names last month after a judge ruled she must.
But the Santa Fe New Mexican reports she's now posted them on the state's main home page instead at http://employees.newmexico.gov/. The database lists the same information that had been posted on the Sunshine Portal, for both exempt and classified employees.
Union attorney Shane Youtz said Wednesday that Second Judicial District Court Judge Valerie Huling's ruling applies to information posted on the portal, and he will look at whether it legally would transfer to other online sites.
In any case, Youtz said the original law that set up the portal's content remains the same.
"I think the law reflects the Legislature's attempt to balance the interest between citizens and civil servants," Youtz said. "If you want to know how much an Accountant 2 makes at the Public Education Department, the Legislature provided citizens with that information. But if you want to know that name of that person, the Legislature said, 'We're not going to put that on the website because we want to give that person a small measure of privacy.' "
Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said the governor plans to call for legislation next year allowing all employees' names to be posted on the Sunshine Portal. The website's sponsor, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, worked this year to add the classified names, but that measure didn't make it out of the Legislature.
Union members have said the information creates hard feelings among co-workers who earn different salaries for similar work. Others have expressed concerns over security when an employee's department is listed online for anyone to see. A handful of employees' names have been removed because of safety concerns.
The governor's office has argued that the information is public and available in other places. Anyone can get employee salary information from state government, and newmexico.watchdog.org has published the information online.
Darnell said the judge's ruling prohibited the information from being posted on the Sunshine Portal, "but it was widely acknowledged that this is public information and therefore may be displayed on another site."
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.