Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Court of Appeals Reinstates Charges Against Block

The state Court of Appeals has reinstated the criminal charges against Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block, Jr. that previously had been dismissed by a state district judge. The appeals court also reinstated charges against Jerome Block, Sr., a former PRC member.

Block Jr. was indicted on charges related to misusing public campaign funds in his 2008 campaign. But state District Judge Michael Vigil last year ruled that that the secretary of state could either impose a fine for violations or refer a case to the attorney general for criminal prosecution -- but not both.

The appeals court ruled otherwise. "The (law) does not limit the attorney general's authority to prosecute," Judge Cynthia Fry said in the ruling. Judges Rod Kennedy and Jonathan Sutin concurred.

Block Jr. is up for re-election next year but hasn't said whether he'll run. Two challengers, Valerie Espinoza and Martin Suazo have announced they are running.

Below is the ruling:
Block Ruling