N.M. Gov. Martinez names finalists to replace disgraced ex member of powerful state board
Governor Susana Martinez yesterday announced the five finalists she’d selected from a list of 90 hopefuls for the Public Regulation Commission seat vacated several weeks ago by Jerome Block Jr., who resigned after pleading guilty to several felonies. Among the quintet are three Democrats, a Republican, and an Independent.
The five finalists, all from Santa Fe, are Robert Monday, a former utilities manager for Los Alamos County; Douglas Howe, an independent consultant with Cambridge Energy Research Associates; Dennis Gee, a former utilities department director for the city of Santa Fe; Kenneth Costello, a principal with the National Regulatory Research Institute; and Andres Salazar, a research professor at the University of New Mexico’s school of engineering.
There is as yet no deadline for when the new official will take office, but whoever it ends up being certainly has the qualifications as outlined by Think New Mexico and its executive director, Fred Nathan, in a report the think tank issued this past September.
Nathan said this about the announcement: “We are pleased that all five finalists satisfy the qualifications that every PRC commissioner should meet. Every candidate has both the educational and professional experience to serve effectively.”
Having called for candidates with at least a four-year college degree or five years of relevant professional
experience, he could say, “All of these candidates appear to have advanced degrees and many years of related experience, which goes beyond the minimum qualifications that we have proposed.”
Nathan also expressed modest surprise that there seemed to be little politics at play in the governor’s choices, saying “We are impressed that the Governor has put qualifications ahead of party affiliation.”