SANTA FE (KRQE) - Embattled public regulation commissioner Jerome Block did not get the big boot Thursday.
But his fellow commissioners did give him a boot in the butt, removing him as vice-chair of the powerful agency that regulates utility rates and more.
Commissioner Jason Marks said they had to do it so the commission could move on with its business free from distractions.
"It was obvious that is was inappropriate for Commissioner Block to stay on as vice-chair," Marks said. "It sends the wrong message to the public."
The distractions he was talking about are allegations Block abused a state-issued gas card and stole a car from a Santa Fe dealership by taking it for a test drive without returning it. Criminal charges are pending against Block and his dad for for the alleged misuse of public campaign money in 2008.
Block was a no-show at Thursday's meeting. His status may have been downgraded, but he's still a commissioner making nearly $100,000 a year.
The New Mexico Constitution prevents the PRC from getting rid of Block completely. That decision is up to the Legislature.
House Speaker Ben Luján said if Block resigns, which many people, including all of the PRC commissioners, have urged him to do, then lawmakers won't have to get involved.
If not, Luján said he will form a committee during the special session next month to look into Block's impeachment. Until that happens, the PRC says it's done everything in its power.
The state Supreme Court could also remove Block if he is is convicted of the criminal charge.
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