SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's highest court has temporarily put on hold a lawsuit by a state agency seeking to recover money for investment deals it contends were influenced by political considerations during former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration.

The Supreme Court issued a stay Tuesday at the request of former pension fund investment officer Frank Foy, who's brought whistleblower lawsuits alleging a pay-to-play scheme involving state investments.

Foy is fighting settlements of $525,000 reached by the State Investment Council with four investment executives, who are among the defendant in one of his whistleblower cases.

Foy's lawyer Victor Marshall said Thursday the settlement dispute raises open government questions that go beyond the investment case. He's asking the court to take further action, including forcing the council to change how it handles settlements.