“I’m pleased to appoint Steve to represent the people of Albuquerque,” Keller said in a release sent Saturday. “As a lifetime New Mexican, he understands the issues facing our city and will be critical to helping us enact our vision for a safe, inclusive, and innovative city.”
In the release, Keller called Aguilar Jr. a “seasoned litigator” who has a “great deal” of experience in both law enforcement and non-law enforcement issues.
Aguilar, Jr. has worked in general civil practice for more than a decade at the firm Aguilar & Aguilar, P.C., he founded with his father. In that time, Aguilar represented clients in a variety of cases including business contracts, constitutional rights cases, medical and dental malpractice.
Aguilar told the Journal he got the news on Thursday, weeks after Keller’s office reached out to him in early February to see if he was interested in the position.
“Words can’t express how excited I am and how honored I am,” Aguilar said. “I love the city – I always have. It’s home.”
As city attorney, Aguilar said he wants to make sure the office strives to maintain a high level of professionalism while “efficiently and vehemently” representing all of the city’s interests.
Aguilar said he understands the position requires a lot of hard work and called it a “tremendous opportunity.”
“Obviously, the legal profession is in my heart and the fight for justice, whatever that requires, is something I’m passionate about,” he said. “I’m up to that task and really anxious, and excited, to get started.”
Aguilar completed his undergraduate degree in communications and journalism at UNM in 2002 while serving as the student body vice president and went on to get his law degree from UNM School of Law in 2005.
Aguilar has served on the Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Values and the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, among others, and is admitted to the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.