SANTA FE (KRQE) - Former public regulation commissioner Jerome Block Jr. may be headed to prison.
He has now been kicked out of the drug court program after a third arrest Tuesday for a still undisclosed reason.
Wednesday afternoon Attorney General Gary King, whose office brokered a plea deal with Block, said he will go for the maximum sentence.
"He has certainly exposed himself to these 4 1/2 years of time in jail, which is a significant," King said.
It is time Block could have avoided.
In the plea deal worked out in October, Block agreed to plead guilty to several felonies that included misuse of his state-issued gas card and pocketing thousands in campaign cash while running for the PRC.
In exchange Block, who admitted to an addiction to prescription pills, was allowed to walk free as long as he completed the drug-court program.
"I think that it is a sad thing that he was not able to take the opportunity that was presented to him to make some changes in his life," said King.
Block, though, could not follow the program's rules.
In October he failed a drug test, which landed him in jail. A month later it was an undisclosed rule violation that sent him back to jail.
Then on Tuesday he was booked for another violation and with it came a dismissal from the court program.
King said his office was not given any details about why Block was kicked out.
"It seems like this was a pretty short stay in drug court, so I have to assume the violations or the nature of the violations were significant enough that they caused the judge in the drug court program to decide that he wasn't committed to successfully completing the program," said King.
The next step is a sentencing hearing in which King said his office plans to ask the judge to sentence Block to the maximum 4 1/2 years in prison.
King is confident Block will not be able to walk away a free man this time.
"I think that he loses an argument that he can make at sentencing now because he did not successfully complete the drug-court program," King said.
The sentencing hearing should take place within a month.
Block is still in the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center. It is not clear if he will stay there until sentencing.
King again defended the plea deal his office gave Block telling News 13 it worked exactly as it was supposed to by giving Block a chance but imposing tough penalties if he did not live up to it.
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