Gov. vetoes overhaul of embattled Finance Authority

Posted at: 04/05/2013 6:16 PM
Updated at: 04/05/2013 7:18 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB 4 On Your Side

Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a plan to overhaul the New Mexico Finance Authority.

The move sends the message that the governor thinks the old way of business is better than any ideas the senate could come up with.

Sen. Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo) led the fight in what he called reforming the embattled agency.

That came after a 4 On Your Side investigation exposed a faked audit that jeopardized the state credit rating. The scandal sent one man in prison, and cost two high level executives their jobs.

Many blamed the board of directors; where were they, and how could they not see the red flags?

Keller's measure diversified the board, allowing other state leaders to appoint board members.

As it stands, only the governor gets to choose who sits on the board.

The bill aimed to create guidelines that would force at least half of the board members to have at least ten years of finance or banking experience.

But Martinez rejected the bill stating, “The changes in Senate Bill 12 fail to address the real structural challenges with the NMF. My appointees to NMFA have engineered a dramatic turnaround so that NMFA's line of credit has been restored and will be able to issue bonds again this spring."

Keller fired back in the following written statement: "The current governance structure does not follow basic best practices; it suffers from a lack of experience, high turnover, and glaring lack of diversity interests."

Keller adds that there is currently only one member with more than ten years of finance experience on the board and no board members with banking experience.