SANTA FE – The husband of New Mexico Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson began a temporary state job in July as a financial analyst for the state’s main budget agency.
Top-ranking officials in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration said Thursday that Andrew Jacobson’s performance has been stellar and touted his extensive background in the financial industry.
“His wife’s Cabinet position didn’t and shouldn’t have any bearing on his being hired,” said Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford.
Since Martinez took office in January, several state agencies have been restructured in an effort to increase efficiency. The restructuring, which has led to both layoffs and new hires in some agencies, created a need for temporary employees to address a pressing staff shortage in the budget division, Clifford said.
“Andrew was the only qualified applicant for a highly complex position and thus the only person interviewed,” he said. “He agreed to take the job knowing it didn’t include benefits and that it would expire by the end of the year.”
Andrew Jacobson, who previously worked for a Chicago investment firm, is making $30 per hour in the classified position, according to the department. The position is slated to expire Dec. 27, but could wrap up even earlier.
The budget division that employs Jacobson is tasked with preparing the governor’s annual budget recommendation to the Legislature. Specifically, Jacobson’s job duties include analyzing state projects and other components of the $5.6 billion budget, Clifford said.
Jacobson was unavailable for comment Thursday, according to DFA spokesman Tim Korte.
Monique Jacobson, a Taos native who had been working as a marketing executive in Chicago, was appointed by Martinez in January to head the Tourism Department.
She is paid an annual salary of $125,000, the most a Cabinet secretary is allowed to receive under restrictions imposed by Martinez.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal