Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. and his father were indicted today on election-related charges.
Both were charged with violating the elections code, conspiring to violate the elections code, tampering with evidence and conspiring to tamper with evidence. The charges against the younger Jerome Block also include embezzlement of between $500 and $2,500.
Block Jr. was indicted on eight felony counts. Block Sr., a former member of the PRC, was indicted on four felonies.
A grand jury had been meeting since last month, and the indictments were filed late this morning. The attorney general’s office is refusing to comment to several media outlets about the case.
Block Jr. told The Santa Fe New Mexican he won’t resign from his $90,000-a-year job representing northern New Mexico on the powerful regulatory board.
“I’m elected, I’m here, I’m not going anywhere,” he was quoted as saying before closing his office door to the reporter.
The charges stem from Block Jr.’s publicly funded campaign for office last year. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Block, who is in his first term on the PRC, paid a band to play at a rally that never took place. Block later had to pay a fine and return $10,000 of the more than $100,000 in taxpayer money he received for his campaign after admitting to filing false reports.
He was also fined for making a contribution to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which is an invalid use of the public funds.
During the campaign, Block Jr. was also in hot water for lying to newspaper reporters about his “past brushes with the law and his education,” The New Mexican article states. One of those testifying before the grand jury was Las Vegas Optic managing editor and reporter David Giuliani, who testified about Block Jr.’s lies and later admissions that he was lying.