New Mexico Attorney General Gary King on Wednesday said he’d seek from the court a full 4 1/2 year prison sentence for former PRC commissioner Jerome Block Jr.
Block was booted Tuesday from the Adult Drug Court program in Santa Fe and will now face sentencing for several felonies he pleaded guilty to earlier this year.
Here is what I had King’s spokesman, Phil Sisneros, quoted as saying in the article posted Wednesday night and published in Thursday’s New Mexican:
“On a personal level, [King] feels bad for Mr. Block because he wanted to see him clean himself up. But while he feels for him on a personal level, on a legal level, [Block] was given every opportunity and he wasn’t able to take advantage of that. Now, we plan to seek the maximum [prison term] per the plea agreement.”
That sentencing had been delayed until his participation in drug court was completed — either with successful graduation of the program or dismissal. After three arrests in under two months (Oct. 14-Dec. 13), he got the early exit from the program that could have given him a conditional discharge meaning a felony would not have stayed on his record.
Sentencing, nor a release hearing, have yet been scheduled. And just because King asks for the max doesn’t mean Block will get it.
On this three drug court violation arrests, including Tuesday, as well as on his getting booted from the drug court program we were able to break those stories first, but a ton of credit for uncovering the whole Jerome Block Jr. scandal needs to go to Gadi Schwartz at KOB-TV for his leg work early on in this matter. He broke the gas card scandal and, if I remember correctly, Gadi is still the only reporter to have actual store footage of Block purchasing Allsup’s chimichangas on the state-issued gas card.
I’m guessing, and it is purely speculation on my part but speculation based on conversations with others in the Santa Fe legal community (who were also giving their best guesses), Block will be jailed for a year or less allowing him to avoid prison but still serve a significant amount of time in county jail.
Here are some links:
- Attorney General to seek maximum penalty for Block Jr.
Oct. 26: Block Jr. pleads to three felonies
- Aug. 8 from KOB (w/ Chimi footage!): Chimichangas among purchases made with state gas cards
- Aug. 4 from KOB: PRC commissioner’s gas card use questioned