On Thursday, October 6, 2011, Jerome Block Jr. submitted his resignation of his seat on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.  The resignation becomes effective at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7.  The resignation was the result of a plea agreement that was reached between Block and state prosecutors over the misuse of campaign funds, and other felony charges.  Governor Susana Martinez will appoint a replacement to finish Block's term, which runs through December 31, 2012.  Eighty-seven applicants filed an application for the $90,000 per year position by Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the deadline established by the Governor.  There is no deadline by which Governor Martinez is required to make the appointment.  The conviction of Block and numerous legal and ethical problems by several commissioners over the past several years have led law makers and others to look at establishing minimum qualifications to hold the position.  Currently one has to be 18 years of age, a NM resident for one year, and no felony convictions to be eligibel to run for the position.  Adding additional qualifications would require a change to the State Constitution, which would have to go to the voters for approval.

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