Ben Hall elected as new PRC chairman

By Rob Nikolewski on January 8, 2013

The Public Regulation Commission has a history of controversy — after all, it’s an entity that has seen two former commissioners arrested and another one sued for sexual harassment — but on Tuesday (Jan. 8), there were no fireworks after commissioners selected a new chairman on a 3-2 vote.
Ben Hall defeated Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, replacing Pat [...]

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The Pat Lyons-Ray Powell feud continues: “He’s just an old hippie from Nob Hill,” “I see a pattern of abuse”

By Rob Nikolewski on July 2, 2012

A controversy over the fate of the Dixon’s Apple Orchard has re-ignited the political feud between the current and former commissioners of the State Land Office (SLO).
Ray Powell and Pat Lyons simply don’t like each other and they’ve exchanged more barbs in recent weeks as the orchard — famous throughout the state and badly damaged [...]

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NM politics: “It’s good vs. evil” one side says, “he’s fat,” says the other

By Rob Nikolewski on May 15, 2012

I missed this morning’s PRC meeting (April 15) because I had a doctor’s appointment in Albuquerque but now I wish I had gone.
Public Regulation Commission meetings have been lively ones, even predating the series of Jerome Block Jr. controversies that erupted last year and they’ve gotten livelier in the last week or so.
That’s because a [...]

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Harden says Susana’s office encouraged a GOP challenger in his district

By Rob Nikolewski on May 9, 2012

Speaking at length for the first time since he announced he was stepping down from the New Mexico state Senate, Clint Harden (R-Clovis) told his local newspaper that although “it was my decision,” he thinks Gov. Susana Martinez and some of her supporters encouraged a candidate to challenge Harden in the upcoming election cycle — [...]

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PRC can’t get involved in red-light camera controversy in Las Cruces

By Rob Nikolewski on May 1, 2012

Public Regulation Commission chairman Pat Lyons may not be crazy about the move made by the city of Las Cruces to shut off the utilities of people who are overdue in paying off tickets they received for violations spotted by the town’s red-light cameras, but said the PRC can’t get involved.
“We discussed it with our [...]

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PRC could get involved in Las Cruces red-light camera/utility flap

By Rob Nikolewski on April 30, 2012

The chairman of the Public Regulation Commission says he wants the state agency that regulates utilities to look into a controversial program that the city of Las Cruces has established that would turn off the water, sewage and gas services of those who are delinquent in paying citations from the city’s red-light camera program.
“That’s unacceptable,” [...]

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Starting now, GSD will ask PRC to report when staff, commissioners borrow cars

By David Collins on February 1, 2012

In response to a Watchdog inquiry, a GSD spokesperson said today that agency will include the PRC in its annual campaigns to collect information about authorized personal use of state vehicles for commuting. Until this morning, the GSD spokesperson had maintained the PRC’s participation in the annual domicile-to-duty reporting program was “voluntary.”

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PRC cracking down on state vehicle use — $199,000 in fuel and maintenance per year

By Rob Nikolewski on November 8, 2011

By statute, the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) has a lot of responsibilities — as diverse as regulating utilities, insurance, transportation, even taxi cabs and overseeing the state’s fire marshal’s office.
The commission also has a big fleet of state vehicles — 102 of them for an agency with 260 employees.
In an effort to boost efficiency and [...]

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Jerome Block Jr. submits his resignation letter

By Rob Nikolewski on October 6, 2011

Block is officially on the rocks.
The months-long soap opera starring Jerome Block Jr. comes to an end tomorrow (Oct. 7) as the embattled commissioner of the Public Regulation Commissioner has delivered his resignation letter to PRC commissioner Pat Lyons.
Here’s the short statement Lyons received Thursday afternoon:

(Hat tip to Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New [...]

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PRC commissioner says he’ll fight against eligibility changes

By Rob Nikolewski on October 5, 2011

We’ve written about calls to change the eligibility requirements of Public Regulation Commission board members but a couple current PRC commissioners are opposed to them — and one commissioner has gone so far as to say he’ll actively fight any moves to raise minimum standards.
Ben Hall appeared at a news conference Tuesday (Oct. 4) along [...]

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