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Interim Head Of Finance Appointed In Sunland Park

Michael P. Steininger, a veteran municipal administrator who has overseen finances for several New Mexico cities and counties, will temporarily manage and oversee Sunland Park’s finances, according to a New Mexico Finance and Administration news release.

New Mexico Secretary of Finance and Administration Tom Clifford announced the appointment Wednesday.

Steininger begins immediately and will continue his work until Clifford is confident that Sunland Park administrators are capable and prepared to resume control of city finances and perform their duties in accordance with law, according to the news release.

“Michael brings years of experience overseeing local government finances and he will serve a critical role during the transition in Sunland Park,” Clifford said in the statement. “He will be an important part of the team that DFA has assembled to address this situation.”

Under state law, the Finance and Administration Secretary can suspend municipal officials when the State Auditor identifies that they have violated New Mexico laws or regulations related to proper financial management. The Secretary is empowered to make temporary appointments to ensure the responsibilities of the suspended positions are met.

State law also authorizes DFA’s Local Government Division to supervise the disbursement of a municipality’s funds to ensure the local government does not exceed its budget and that all expenditures are legal.

“Suspensions aside, our agency has determined that the situation in Sunland Park warrants the closest of supervision, including prior approval by DFA of each municipal expenditure,” Clifford said. Clifford suspended Sunland Park’s finance director and purchasing agent on May 14.

Ryan Gleason, the director of DFA’s Local Government Division, had been serving as Sunland Park’s interim finance director since that date and will continue to manage DFA’s operations in the community.

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