I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Class-action lawsuit filed in NM’s investment losses
Law firms in Albuquerque, New York City and Washington, D.C. have joined to file a class-action lawsuit against former New Mexico Investment Officer Gary Bland and members of the Educational Retirement Board, according to the Santa Fe Reporter.
Donna J. Hill, a records clerk at New Mexico State University, is the lead plaintiff. Hill is an ERB beneficiary and among approximately 95,000 former educators who lost out when ERB trustees approved bad investments for political reasons, according to the lawsuit, the Reporter explains.
The lawsuit appears based partly on Aldus Meyer founder Saul Meyer‘s admission that he recommended investments to the State Investment Council and ERB that were pushed on him by politically connected individuals here in New Mexico.
The class-action lawsuit also mirrors allegations in a lawsuit filed by Frank Foy, a former ERB investment officer, that some ERB members decided to invest public money out of political interests.
Jonathan W. Cuneo, a Washington D.C.-based litigator, told the Reporter ‘s Corey Pein in an interview:
“My law firm has spent quite a bit of time looking at the public pension fund situation nationally, and we spent quite a bit of time studying the situation in New Mexico.”
When it comes to corrupt practices in public investments, “I certainly think New Mexico’s not alone,” Cuneo says.
In addition to Bland, the ERB, its board members and Meyer and Aldus Equity, the suit also has targeted Vanderbilt Financial Trust. The firm won $90 million in public money in an investment deal that later went sour, costing the ERB $40 million and SIC $50 million.