SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s utility regulation committee ousted its Navajo chairwoman for what she claims is retribution for pushing for more broadband access in rural communities. The state’s Public Regulation Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to replace Chairwoman Theresa Becenti-Aguilar with Commissioner Stephen Fischmann.
Becenti-Aguilar claims the recall occurred because her fellow commissioners gave the issue of rural broadband availability far less priority than she had. Commissioner Cynthia Hall disputed Becenti-Aguilar’s claim but did not provide a reason as to why she was ousted.
Fischmann declined to answer any questions about Becenti-Aguilar’s removal. Becenti-Aguilar had been the chairwoman of the commission since 2018 and represents the northwest region of the state.