Tuesday, August 9, 2011

House Republicans To Ask for Impeachment Committee

State Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, just told me that House Republican leader Tom Taylor will be sending a letter to Speaker Ben Lujan asking for a special committee to investigate the possible impeachment of Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block.

"This is not an isolated incident," Gentry said of recent allegations against the beleaguered Block. "There's a clear pattern of abuse by Commissioner Block that warrants immediate consideration by the House of Representatives."

Gentry said Taylor will ask for a committee similar to the one that investigated former state Treasurer Robert Vigil in 2005. That committee hired a lawyer, former Supreme Court Justice Paul Kennedy and was considering specific charges against Vigil when the treasurer decided to resign.

According to the state constitution, the House votes on charges of impeachment. If the full House votes to impeach, the Senate conducts a trial whether the accused official should be removed from office.

UPDATE: 2:49 pm: I just talked to Speaker Lujan, who is in San Antonio for the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting. He said when he receives the letter, "We'll see what we have to do and check with the Legislative Council Service to see what needs to be done."