Expense account abuses campaign finance violations, spell loss of job for Jerome Block
All four Public Regulation Commissioners signed a statement urging Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr., to resign his seat Tuesday; Block was not present at the proceedings.
“Given the allegations and recent evidence that has surfaced, we encourage and urge Commissioner Block to immediately resign his position as soon as possible,” reads the statement.
Democratic Party chairs in Block’s district also signed a letter asking him to resign. The Republican leader of the state House of Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker Ben Luján asking for the creation of a committee reviewing the allegations that could lead to impeachment. Gov. Susana Martinez and the state Democratic party chair have already called for his resignation.
Block has faced a series of allegations in recent days. He reportedly took a 2006 Honda Accord out for a test drive from a car dealership, did not return it, and the dealership reported it as stolen. Records show he spent $5,000 in six weeks on a state-issued gas card before it was canceled, often with multiple fill-ups within minutes. He also drove his state-issued vehicle on a suspended license for 11 months before voluntarily giving up his driving privileges. He also faces criminal charges for campaign finance violations related to his 2008 publicly-financed campaign.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Block did not tell PRC Chief of Staff Johnny Montoya and PRC Chair Pat Lyons that he would miss the meeting, and hasn’t returned their calls. Block told the Albuquerque Journal that he has been seeing a therapist for “depression issues,” but isn’t suicidal.