Lyons to remain PRC chairman

Freedom New Mexico

Clovis native Patrick Lyons will remain chairman of the New Mexico’s scandal-tainted Public Regulation Commission (PRC).

The PRC voted unanimously Tuesday to re-elect Lyons and Vice Chairman Theresa Becenti-Aguilar.

“We’re looking forward to cleaning up the PRC and making it a better agency for the consumer,” Lyons said. “We want to be more responsive and that comes from creating a better consumer relations division.”

With no time to waste, both commissioners expressed interest in reviewing a new internal management study being presented next week that will focus on operational improvements that will create better consumer service.

Former PRC Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. recently pleaded guilty to several felony charges, including fraudulent use of his state-issued gas card, embezzlement, identity theft, violations of campaign-finance laws and embezzling public funds during his 2008 campaign. As part of his plea agreement offered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, Block agreed to resign from his $90,000 per year PRC job and never run for public office again.

Lyons said the PRC plans to keep its commitment to transparency by conducting open meetings and webcasting them live each week. Lyons said he believes this will help the commission work toward becoming a better, more efficient organization.

Lyons is a former state lands commissioner who instrumental in bringing the Tres Amigas power distribution center to Eastern New Mexico. Developers said they expect to break ground sometime this spring.

“I’m excited for the new developments with Tres Amigas,” Lyons said. “I look forward to breaking ground later on this year.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican contributed to this story.