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          Front Page




Doug Brown Named N.M. Treasurer

By Barry Massey/
Associated Press
      SANTA FE — Doug Brown, former chief executive officer of the Tuition Plan Consortium, was named state treasurer on Thursday by Gov. Bill Richardson to take over a more than $4 billion investment and financial operation shaken by a federal prosecution of the two previous treasurers.
    Brown will serve in the $85,000-a-year position until a new treasurer is elected in November 2006.
    The treasurer's job became vacant last week when Democrat Robert Vigil resigned as a legislative panel was considering his possible impeachment.
    Vigil has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of extortion in a federal investigation into an alleged kickback scheme involving state investments. His precedessor, Michael Montoya, also has pleaded not guilty to extortion charges as part of the same investigation. Prosecutors contend they demanded kickbacks from investment advisers in exchange for steering state business to them.
    Vigil became treasurer in 2003. Montoya served as treasurer from 1995 through 2002.
    Brown, who was president and chief executive officer of the Tuition Plan Consortium from 1999 until he retired last month, worked for more than three decades in banking and financial services in California and New Mexico.
    A 19-member search committee had recommended four finalists to the governor for possible appointment as treasurer. All of the candidates agreed not to run for election next year if appointed to the post.
    The treasurer's position is established by the state Constitution and responsible for the safekeeping of state money. The office invests surplus state funds and money held for local governments — more than $4 billion combined — and functions as the state's banker by keeping records of public money that is deposited and paid out through warrants.
    The office has a budget of about $3.4 million in state money in the current fiscal year and is authorized to have a staff of up to 41 full-time employees.