--2 More Fishy Donations To Richardson From Financiers With State Contracts (Updated)
       
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More Fishy Donations To Richardson From Financiers With State Contracts (Updated)

January 15, 2009, 12:00 am
By Corey Pein
Northern Trust, the custodian bank for billions of dollars in assets controlled by the State Treasurer's Office, the State Investment Council, and two public employee retirement boards, was also a large donor to Governor Bill Richardson's electoral campaigns.

Maybe it would be easier to just start naming banks that do business with the state that didn't give to the Guv.

Northern Trust was hired by the New Mexico Board of Finance in September 2003, after Richardson took office. The company and its executives gave $20,000 to Richardson's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, and $15,500 to his 2008 Presidential campaign, according to state and federal campaign finance reports compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, the National Institute on Money in State Politics and the IRS.

The company also donated $10,000 to ¡Si Se Puede! Boston 2004, the political committee that Richardson formed to handle expenses for that year's Democratic National Convention.

State Investment Officer Gary Bland complained in a January 2008 meeting of the State Investment Council that "Northern Trust is not doing an adequate job." Despite Bland's concerns, Northern Trust remains the state's custodian bank.

I'm waiting for a call back from the Board of Finance to find out how Northern Trust is compensated. More on all this later.

Updated 5:30 p.m.-ish:
Deputy State Treasurer Mark Valdes, who was Board of Finance Director when Northern Trust was hired, says he had no contact with Gov. Richardson or anyone from his office regarding the contract.

Valdes says Northern Trust made its money on a fee-for-service basis. As he recalls, the bank made roughly $300,000 a month after the deal was struck (and that was for handling $28 billion in assets).

Valdes says the procurement manager on the Northern Trust deal was former Finance Board Deputy Director Scott Stovall. Until resigning recently, Stovall served as chief investment officer for the New Mexico Finance Authority, which handled the scandal-plagued transportation bonds that got Richardson in so much trouble last month.

Finance Authority attorney Rey Romero says he doesn't know the particulars of Stovall's departure.

 

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