Tuesday, February 3, 2009

John Doe No. 2 = Dave Contarino

Photo by Kate Nash

That's the word from attorney Victor Marshall, (above left) the lawyer in the lawsuit alleging pay to play at the State Investment Council and Educational Retirement Board.

The lawsuit filed by Frank Foy, the former chief investment officer at ERB, alleges Bland and Malott were instructed by an unnamed "John Doe # 2" to invest with Vanderbilt Financial and associated companies in exchange for political contributions from the firm's employees.

Contarino didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

The name was announced by Marshall at an Albuquerque press conference that turned into a true shouting match when attorneys Sam Bregman (above far right) and Marty Esquivel (above middle) asked for a chance to speak to reporters. Bregman is representing one of the defendants in the case, Meyners and Co., an accounting firm, while Esquivel represents Bruce Malott, head of that company and a defendant in the suit who is also the chairman of the ERB. The pair set about denouncing the claims in the lawsuit as false when the shouting started.

More in Wednesday's New Mexican.

Update, 3:!3 p.m.

Contarino just released a statement, calling the accusations a "fairly tale."

"This is a flat out lie. I never instructed Gary Bland or Bruce Malott to invest in anything," he said in a statement. "I wasn’t even Chief of Staff at the time of this investment. I played no role in this investment and have no recollection of ever meeting Mr. Foy or anyone involved with Vanderbilt investments. I was not aware of any contributions from any individuals from or related to Vanderbilt investments to the Governor’s campaign and this entire accusation is a total fairy tale concocted by Mr. Foy and his attorney," Contarino said.

This entire lawsuit – by a former employee – is irresponsible and the claims are ridiculous and untrue. People are tired of political witch-hunts. Enough is enough.”

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