Former Educational Retirement Board Chairman Bruce Malott takes issue with Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez’s characterization of the situation that led him to resign as a conflict of interest.
Malott says no conflict existed because he was not aware that the son of a man who loaned him money was making millions of dollars in finder’s fees off deals with the retirement board (ERB). He says he took and passed a polygraph test to prove that he had no knowledge of the finder’s fees.
Martinez asserted that Malott had a conflict on Thursday in a guest column published by NMPolitics.net.
“It was shocking to learn that Bruce Malott, the chairman of the Educational Retirement Board (ERB), had a direct financial interest through a loan from the father of Marc Correra,” Martinez’s column states. “Marc Correra made millions from finder’s fees related to ERB investments. It also raises another serious question – how many other members of these powerful boards in the Richardson/Denish administration had conflicts related to taxpayer-funded deals they considered? New Mexicans deserve immediate answers.”
Malott said Martinez’s characterization of the situation as a conflict is simply not factual.
“It is shocking that a prosecutor, especially one running for governor on the principle of applying her skills in the law, would have taken such a misleading approach in her guest column,” he said in a statement to NMPolitics.net. “…Once it is acknowledged that I had no knowledge of the fees paid to Marc Correra, her case falls utterly apart.”
The Albuquerque Journal reported earlier this month that Malott resigned after “a Journal interview concerning a $350,000 loan he received from Anthony Correra — a Richardson insider whose son Marc shared in millions of dollars in finder’s fees from the pension fund’s investments.”
From the Journal:
“Accompanied by four lawyers, an investigator and a publicist, Malott said during the interview that he borrowed the money from Anthony Correra in August 2006 to pay federal taxes of more than $290,000 and state taxes of more than $50,000 that he owed because of a failed tax shelter.
“Malott said he had no idea at the time of the loan that Marc Correra had been getting fees paid by companies that landed investment deals with the ERB, which Malott has chaired since 2005, and the state Investment Council.”
Here’s Malott’s full statement to NMPolitics.net about Martinez:
“Susana Martinez alleges that there was a conflict with a loan I took out from Anthony Correra, the father of Marc Correra. What candidate Martinez leaves out is that there was no conflict at all. What she fails to tell the public is that I had no knowledge that the son of the Anthony Correra was making fees off the ERB. I had absolutely no knowledge. To put the matter to rest, I took a polygraph, a lie detector test, and passed.
“As a prosecutor, she has displayed a serious lack of judgment. Once it is acknowledged that I had no knowledge of the fees paid to Marc Correra, her case falls utterly apart. I know candidates stretch the truth in campaigns, but it is wrong of her to make the case based on leaving out the truth altogether, and the public deserves to know the whole story.
“In one of her recent ads, candidate Martinez tells the real reason why a teacher does a commercial for her opponent, because as a prosecutor she put her husband in jail. If she believes in ‘telling the whole story,’ then perhaps she should do so here. As she says in her ad, ‘Looks different now, doesn’t it?’”