- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Financial settlements will be voted on in public under a policy change approved by the New Mexico State Investment Council.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1GDm9uC) the new policy states negotiations can occur privately, but the 11-member council must publicly vote on the settlements.

A transparency group and an association of New Mexico newspapers appealed a judge’s ruling in favor of the closed-door practice of settling lawsuits. Santa Fe attorney Daniel Yohalem represented the groups and said as long as open meeting laws are followed, the policy change addresses the lawsuit’s complaints.

The subcommittee has settled cases for about $30 million in an attempt recover “finder’s fees” paid to people close to then-Gov. Bill Richardson who helped broker investment deals with the state. Those settlements are being held in escrow as lawsuits by whistleblowers settle broader legal issues.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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