Legislator says NMSU president’s payout illegal

October 19, 2012 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico lawmaker says the payout to former New Mexico State University President Barbara Couture violates the state Constitution.

KRQE-TV ( reports Republican Rep. Bill Rehm, in a letter [auth] sent to the state Attorney General Wednesday, says paying Couture the rest of her salary violates a provision against retroactive pay raises.

Rehm says a lump-sum payout represents compensation for work her replacement will be doing.

A spokesman for Attorney General Gary King says their office has not responded but requests from lawmakers are given priority.

NMSU’s Board of Regents’ payment to Couture, who left the post earlier this month, includes a payment of more than $450,000 in January.

Regents have tapped former university president Manuel T. Pacheco to serve until a permanent replacement is found.

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