Panel looking at damage lawsuits

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The State Investment Council plans to hire an outside law firm

By Barry Massey

SANTA FE — The State Investment Council plans to hire an outside law firm to pursue the possible recovery of losses from failed investments and questionable fees paid to third-party marketing agents.

State Investment Officer Steve Moise said Tuesday the law firm should be hired by late September and will be done through a competitive bidding process.

The council oversees the management of New Mexico’s endowment funds valued at about $13 billion.

A council subcommittee recommended in March that the attorney general consider bringing a lawsuit to recover damages or losses from investments made because of potential pay-to-play influences. Several council members complained that Attorney General Gary King hadn’t acted quickly to bring investment lawsuits.

Moise said the decision to hire a law firm was made after consulting with King.

“It is a collaborative effort. We’re going to take the lead,” Moise said in an interview after a council meeting.

The council will work “hand in hand” with King’s office on any lawsuits, he said.

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