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Ex-New Mexico prison contractor to release public records

December 20, 2019 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Supreme Court has refused to overturn two lower court rulings in a public records lawsuit forcing a former state prison contractor to release settlement agreements with prisoners.

The original lawsuit filed in 2016 by the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government stems from a refusal by contractor Corizon to release settlement agreements over alleged malpractice and sexual abuse by a physician, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.

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Corizon formerly provided health care to inmates in state prisons under a four-year $37 million-per-year contract with the state Department of Corrections, officials said.

The high court decision upholds a verdict requiring Corizon to release requested public records and pay legal fees for violating the Public Records Act, court officials said.

The district court ruled that Corizon had to comply because it was under contract with a state agency to perform a public function, officials said.

Corizon unsuccessfully appealed the decision.