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NM Finance Authority board picks Robert Coalter as new CEO

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The board of the New Mexico Finance Authority, which has weathered a tumultuous audit scandal in the last 18 months, has chosen Robert Coalter of Texas as the NMFA’s new chief executive officer.

Coalter, currently the executive director of the Texas Public Finance Authority, was one of two finalists for the NMFA job.

However, his hiring is not yet official, as today’s vote by NMFA board members merely authorized the agency’s interim CEO, John Gasparich, to negotiate a salary and start date with Coalter. Those details will then be brought before the board next month for final approval.

NMFA board chairwoman Nann Winter, who is set to step down from the board on Dec. 1, said the board felt Coalter had ample experience running an agency similar to the Finance Authority.

“He administers very similar programs and has for years,” Winter said.

She also said she is confident Gasparich will be able to strike a fair salary arrangement with Coalter. The previous NMMA chief executive, Rick May, was paid $150,000 per year.

Today’s vote came after 20 minutes of discussion behind closed doors. The vote to enter into contract negotiations with Coalter was approved on a 9-1 vote, with board member Bill Fulginiti the lone dissenting voice.

For more information, check tomorrow’s Journal.

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