GALLUP, N.M. — The school district serving the Gallup area spent $90,000 successfully fending off a legal challenge to its decision to withhold documents associated with an investigation of a former superintendent.

The Gallup Independent ( ) reports that Gallup-McKinley County Schools spent the money through May 31 on legal fees leading up to a judge’s ruling that the documents sought by the newspaper were not public under the state Inspection of Public Records Act.

The district said it withheld the documents because they contained personal information of an employee or employer, and District Judge Lyndy Bennett said the documents were exempt because they were “rife with opinion regarding the employer/employee relationship and performance assessments.”

The district has not disclosed why Frank Chiapeti was fired as superintendent.

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