It was what political insiders call bad optics an appearance, at the least, of impropriety. Bruce Malott, chairman of New Mexicos Educational Retirement Board pension fund, borrowed $350,000 from the father of Mark Correra, a placement agent who had secured money management mandates for his clients with the $8.5 billion ERB fund. In September, Malott, who had been appointed by Democratic Governor Bill Richardson, quit the ERB while insisting that though he did borrow the money, hed done nothing wrong. He says he wasnt aware of Mark Correras role at the ERB until last year.
Democratic lieutenant governor Diane Denish, who hopes to succeed Richardson, declared in a written statement: Obviously, Mr. Malott knew this was a clear conflict that should have been disclosed. He should have disclosed it and resigned a long time ago.
Speaking of disclosure, Denishs statement neglected to mention that Malotts accounting firm was until July treasurer of her campaign.
Investigators from the FBI and SEC are looking into pay-to-play at New Mexicos public pension funds.