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New Mexico CIO Resigns With Links to Pay-To-Play Scandal

Gary Bland, State Investment Officer of New Mexico State Investment Council, has resigned from his role, a move likely related to his fund’s dealing with Aldus Equity’s Saul Meyer, the investment pro who pled guilty to fraud in securities transactions in New York and New Mexico.

In court, Meyer admitted to wrongdoing as an adviser to New Mexico’s pension fund:

Contrary to my fiduciary duty, I ensured that Aldus recommended certain proposed investments that were pushed on me by politically connected individuals in New Mexico. I did this knowing that these politically connected individuals or their associates stood to benefit financially or politically from the investments and that the investments were not necessarily in the best economic interest of New Mexico.

In addition to Aldus Equity, New Mexico has ties to  Searle & Co., the advisory firm of indicted placement agent Henry Morris. Quadrangle Group and Carlyle Group used Searle to get investments from New Mexico.

Bland has given no official reason for his resignation. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson issued the following statement:

Governor Richardson has accepted Gary Bland’s resignation and thanks him for his service to New Mexico. The Governor will start the process to name a successor to run the State Investment Office.

Update: The AP is reporting Bland has preempted four members of New Mexico’s Investment Council who were planning to ask Richardson for Bland’s resignation at a meeting today.


Q&A with Gary Bland

Pension Kickback Scrutiny Spreads To New Mexico

Read peHUB’s full coverage of the pay-to-play scandal here.