ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Block Jr.’s Case Back In Court
SANTA FE — After 15 months in legal limbo, the state’s corruption case against a member of the Public Regulation Commission is going back to court.
The secretary of state fined commissioner Jerome D. Block Jr. for campaign malfeasance in the 2008 election.
Then a district judge in February 2010 dismissed two related criminal charges against Block, finding that he could not be punished again for those same campaign violations.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King challenged the ruling, and the state Court of Appeals will hear arguments May 19 on whether the charges against Block should be reinstated.
Block, 34, will be fighting for his political life and his $90,000-a-year job as a member of the Public Regulation Commission.
He declined to comment on the hearing.
State AG Lawsuit Hits Home Scam
The state Attorney General’s Office said Friday it has filed a lawsuit in connection with an apparent scam being perpetrated against mobile home buyers in Albuquerque.
“We filed a civil lawsuit today against Fernando Chavez-Guillen, who we believe is targeting immigrant consumers,” Attorney General Gary King said in a news release. “He is charged with misrepresenting mobile homes he is selling; failing to deliver; taking cash deposits and failing to return them when delivery is not made; all without a proper state license.”
There have been seven complaints so far.
James Korenchen Snares PR Honors
James Korenchen Public Relations took home the top honors at the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America annual Cumbre Awards banquet at the Hotel Andaluz this week.
The firm won best of show in the Tactics Category for its Trip Advisor Media Relations and best of show in the Campaign Category for the Santa Ana Star Casino New Mexico Open campaign.
Tom Garrity of the Garrity Group won the Lee & Marie Hirst Vista Award, a lifetime achievement award, and Ed Waters of Griffin & Associates was named Member of the Year.
Among additional awards: The Garrity Group won eight awards, Griffin & Associates won four awards, James Korenchen Public Relations won an additional four awards, Carroll Strategies won three awards and DW Turner won three awards.
Federal Money OK For Mine Cleanup
New Mexico would be able to use federal funds to clean up abandoned uranium mines under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
The Abandoned Mine Land program allows the Department of Interior to collect revenue from coal companies for a fund that cleans up abandoned mines.
States share in the fund, but the Interior Department restricts their ability to use that money to clean up non-coal mines.
The legislation introduced by Bingaman and co-sponsored by fellow New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall would free up the funds for non-coal mines.
The legislation would allow New Mexico to tap into $21 million.