Jan Goodwin, former executive director of the $14.5 billion New Mexico Educational Retirement Board has filed a lawsuit against the board and its individual trustees, the New Mexico State Department of Finance and Administration, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and others, alleging unfair pay due to gender, age and race discrimination.
The lawsuit, filed May 27 in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe, contains 15 counts of allegations against the defendants, including violation of the New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act, violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, gender and/or race discrimination, and illegal retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ms. Goodwin, who became executive director in March 2008, alleges the state unfairly paid Senior Investment Officer Steven Moise an annual salary of over $100,000 more than her upon his hiring in April 2010, a disparity that was never properly addressed.
The filing also said that Mr. Moise's original hiring was and remains illegal because of what Ms. Goodwin calls his lack of qualification. Further, "it appears that the current Governor and other named defendants are giving discriminatory deference to Mr. Moise and concomitant disparagement to Ms. Goodwin because Mr. Moise is an older male, because Ms. Goodwin is a younger female close to the age of the governor and because Ms. Goodwin is a Caucasian female, while the governor is a Hispanic female who, by statute, is paid far less than Ms. Goodwin (thus also infusing the discrimination being perpetrated against Ms. Goodwin with a racially motivated bias)."
The filing alleges that Ms. Lujan Grisham eventually blocked a pay raise that was approved and passed by the board, and that Ms. Goodwin was eventually forced to resign as a result.
Ms. Goodwin left the Santa Fe-based pension fund earlier this year to become executive director of the $9.4 billion New Hampshire Retirement System, Concord.
Ms. Lujan Grisham, board officials, and Merit Bennett, Ms. Goodwin's attorney, could not be immediately reached for comment.