UNM responds to AG’s letter; plans meeting to reconsider vote on sports

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The University of New Mexico announced it will hold another special meeting to reconsider its vote to cut men’s soccer, beach volleyball, and men’s and women’s skiing.

In July, UNM went under fire for how it handled the controversial decision to cut the four sports programs.

Then, today Albuquerque Attorney Mia Touchet filed a lawsuit against the Board of Regents, following a letter sent from the Attorney General’s Office to the Regents calling on them to “re-vote.”

Touchet said nothing about the July 19 meeting sits right with her.

“It struck me almost immediately that the decision had been made and it seems as though it had been pre-determined,” she said.

That’s what pushed Touchet to originally file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. Touchet and another New Mexico Attorney, David Pato, who filed a separate complaint argued the board violated the state’s Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Wednesday, the AG agreed with Touchet, sending UNM a letter determining the Board of Regents did in fact violate the OMA by not giving the public reasonable notice along with a lack of specific information on the meeting’s agenda. 

Touchet took it one step further when she filed the lawsuit in district court Friday. She lists a lot of the same concerns, along with a new one.

In the nine-page lawsuit, Touchet called the board’s vote “unconstitutional,” saying Student Regent Garrett Adcock was not a student at the time of the vote. Adcock graduated in May.

UNM said, all students are considered “active students” for three semesters after they graduate. It added, Adcock also plans to take classes this fall.

“Our New Mexico constitution says that the student regent ‘shall be,’ it’s not a maybe. It’s a ‘shall be’ a member of the student body.”

While UNM hasn’t responded to the lawsuit, it did respond to the AG’s letter.

The university argues it followed the laws under the OMA and asked the AG to reconsider his findings. However, the board said it still plans to hold another “special meeting” within 15 days and the “agenda will specify this action item in detail.”

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