- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A Senate committee leader is opposing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s appointee to the governing board of New Mexico Highlands University.

Rules Committee chairwoman Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat, said Monday she’ll recommend the panel reject Carl Foster’s nomination to the university’s board of regents.

Lopez said Foster has a conflict of interest because of a pending lawsuit against the school for breach of contract.

Foster formerly taught special education at the school’s Rio Rancho center, but filed a lawsuit last year contending the university improperly handled a student complaint against him.

The committee planned a confirmation hearing this week, but Lopez said Foster has told her office he’s unable to attend.

Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said Foster’s lawsuit doesn’t disqualify the nominee or lessen his educational record.