Curry County officials release salary info to newspaper

Jack King

Curry County officials on Friday supplied employee salary and benefits information as requested by the Clovis News Journal — but the paper’s officials said Monday their dispute is not over.
The newspaper last week sued the county for release of the salary information, contending it is public record. County Attorney Stephen Doerr twice denied the paper’s request in writing prior to the newspaper filing the lawsuit.
The packet received Friday includes information about county employees’ benefits and salaries, which the paper had requested.
But News Journal attorney Max Best said Monday afternoon the full range of issues between the paper and the county government is not yet settled.
“We did get a packet and it appears the county has made a substantive start in complying with our request. I have not yet had a chance to talk to (newspaper Publisher Ray Sullivan) about whether the packet completely satisfies the paper’s request, but there are other issues,” Best said.
“… We’d like to get this issue resolved formally, with a formal, stipulated judgment, where the commission agrees in writing that the type of record we’ve requested is a public record.
“In addition, we will seek attorneys’ fees, as allowed under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act.”
The paper, in its lawsuit, also asked the court to address an alleged violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act.
Doerr was out of town Monday and County Manager Geneva Cooper could not be reached for comment.