I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Former federal prosecutor hired for Block impeachment
The New Mexico House subcommittee investigating allegations against PRC Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. in preparation for a possible impeachment trial has hired former U.S. Attorney and Albuquerque lawyer Robert Gorence as counsel. The New Mexican has details:
Robert Gorence has agreed to gather and present evidence for the panel and provide legal advice.
Gorence worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1986 to 2000. During the last six years of his time there, from 1994 to 2000, he was first assistant U.S. attorney.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Mr. Gorence’s caliber serve as our special counsel. This is an important undertaking and the subcommittee will be well served by Mr. Gorence’s assistance,” Reps Joe Cervantes and Zach Cook, co-chairmen of the panel, said in a joint statement.
Block faces a series of allegations beginning with apparent misuse of a state-issued gas card. Records show he spent $5,000 in six weeks on the state-issued card before it was canceled, often with multiple fill-ups within minutes of each other and sometimes for vehicles that were not his own. He also drove his state-issued vehicle on a suspended license for 11 months before voluntarily giving up his driving privileges. He also faces criminal charges related to his 2008 publicly-financed campaign.
He has admitted an addiction to oxycodone, also known by its brand name OxyContin. He has refused to resign his post, which pays $90,000 per year, despite calls from Governor Martinez, fellow Democratic party officials and the other PRC Commissioners.