NMFA Board punts on what to do about Rick May
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For now, the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA) still has two chief executive officers — one who is working at the agency rocked by a fraudulent audit and another who isn’t. But both are getting paid.
On Monday (Sept. 10), the NMFA board put off deciding what to with Rick May, the CEO who’s currently on administrative leave with pay, until its next meeting on Sept. 28.
May earns $150,000 a year and has been replaced on a interim basis by John Gasparich, who is also drawing a paycheck at the agency where a bogus audit was filed earlier this year that led to two arrests, placed the state’s credit ratings in jeopardy and put a number of municipal bond projects on hold across the state.
Board chairwoman Nann Winter didn’t say much of anything to reporters after the meeting.
“As long as it’s an ongoing personnel matter, you’ll just have to keep showing up as I do every day,” she said.
The board met for nearly an hour and a half in a private, executive session closed to the public and the media in which members discussed whether to let go of May as well as former NMFA chief operations officers John Duff, who was arrested last month and is charged with taking part in the fake audit. Duff has been on leave without pay since the day he was arrested.
Some state legislators have expressed concern that taxpayers are paying Gasparich and May for the same job. When asked about that, Winter said, “Wait ’til September 28th.”
The NMFA board has to a fine line to walk, both financially as well as in potential litigation.
Last Friday, May sent a memo to the board urging members not to make any decisions on his status as CEO, arguing that he has not had a chance to address the board to properly explain his actions in the fake audit and concluded his note by saying, “I shall pursue any legal and other options to preserve and protect my longstanding reputation for honesty and integrity.”
Capitol Report New Mexico has sent May an e-mail asking him for reaction to the board’s decision Monday. As soon as we get one, we’ll post it.