Lawmakers look into possible impeachment | News
In spite of mounting calls for Jerome Block Jr. to step down from his $90,000 a year position as a PRC commissioner, there is still no indication that Block has any intention of resigning.
Now some lawmakers say it is time to start looking into impeachment proceedings as a way to force Block out of office.
Controversy has been piling on the embattled PRC commissioner since last week when a KOB Eyewitness News 4 investigation uncovered someone had been using Block's state gas account to steal from taxpayers.
State Representative Nate Gentry (R- Albuquerque) said if Block is not going to resign, lawmakers need to prepare to begin the process of impeachment.
"The PRC is a very powerful entity that affects every aspect of every New Mexican's life." Gentry said. "If you can't trust someone with a state gas card, I don't know how you can trust them with making those important decisions."
On Tuesday, Republicans from the state House of Representatives sent a letter to Speaker Ben Lujan (D-Nambe) requesting that a bi-partisan committee be appointed to investigate Block.
That idea seems to have some support on both sides of the aisle. Representative Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) indicated that he would support an official inquiry that could lead to impeachment and late Tuesday afternoon tweeted, "Reality to Jerome Block: It's time to resign."
Democratic Party chairmen from eight different counties as well as the state Democratic Party chairman have also called on Block to step aside.
The State Historian Dr. Rick Hendricks said his research showed New Mexico has never had a successful impeachment of any elected official.
Impeachment proceedings would have to originate in the House of Representatives and be approved by the Senate.
If Block does not resign, some lawmakers said they will try to begin the proceedings during a special session in September.
KOB tried contacting Speaker of the House Ben Lujan on the possibility of impeachment, but Lujan did not return our calls.