Commissioner Blasts White Peak Case

New Mexico – New Mexico Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons says he still believes exchanges of state trust lands for private land in northern New Mexico's White Peak area are in the best interest of the trust he was elected to manage.

He said Thursday he takes issue with a petition filed with the state Supreme Court by Attorney General Gary King. The court agreed Tuesday to temporarily halt the land swaps.

Lyons says King's office initially raised concerns about appraisals of the parcels in a letter sent to him in December. He says the court petition instead centers on the auction process of exchanges with private parties.

Lyons argues that his office is being attack about a "bogus issue," and that the auction was conducted according to the law.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.