Retiring New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) has resigned from his position on the Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee after appointing himself to the post. The committee was formed after voters in 2020 changed the PRC from an elected board to a governor-appointed board. A legal challenge to the constitutional amendment was thrown out by the majority Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham-appointed New Mexico Supreme Court.
The move comes amid an ethics complaint filed by state Rep. Miguel García (D-Bernalillo), who charged that Egolf broke the law and the state Constitution with his self-appointment.
According to the State Ethics Commission (SEC), García’s charges were found to be valid. SEC executive director Jeremy Farris wrote that the Commission “has determined that probable cause supports allegations asserted by the complainant [García] … that you violated the Governmental Conduct Act.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican further reported, “Farris wrote that Egolf could ‘correct the violation’ by resigning from the nominating committee in 10 days. Otherwise, he wrote, Hearing Officer Alan Torgenson would preside over a public hearing ‘to determine whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes a violation of the Governmental Conduct Act.’”
Now that Egolf has resigned no hearing on the matter will occur, according to House Democrats’ spokeswoman Camille Ward.
The resignation came the same day the committee had nominated nine individuals for Lujan Grisham to pick from for the PRC. The previous five-member elected commission is now a three-member panel — all of whom Lujan Grisham will select.