Jerome Block Jr., a former member of the Public Regulation Commission, was arrested Friday on an alleged violation of probation after he tested positive for alcohol, according to New Mexico State Police.
Block reported to his probation officer on Friday, and a urine test is said to have confirmed he had alcohol in his system. The probation officer asked state police to take Block to jail, according to Lt. Robert McDonald, state police spokesman.
Block was booked at about 5 p.m. Friday and will be held for at least 48 hours, according to state Corrections Department spokeswoman Cristina Rodda, who said such a procedure is standard for any probation or parole violator. He is due to be released on Sunday afternoon.
The 35-year-old Block originally avoided a 4 1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted of multiple charges, including fraudulent use of his state credit card, identity theft, violations of campaign financing laws and embezzlement of public funds during his 2008 campaign.
Before his conviction, he seemed to be following in the political footsteps of his family. His grandfather was the mayor of Española, and his father also was a PRC commissioner.
Block also has had past problems with drug abuse. In his sentencing hearing in March, prosecutor Lynne Anne Maxwell noted Block’s continued failure with drug treatment programs. “If you place the defendant on probation at this time, the court is only setting him up to fail,” Maxwell said then.
In contrast, Block said he had reached his “bottom” and was ready to turn his life around. He asked Santa Fe District Judge Michael Vigil to give him a chance to redeem himself.
“And today, your honor, I am going to ask you that you give me the opportunity to walk back to the top, because I know I can do it,” Block said.
Vigil sentenced Block to probation and required that he get a job, pay child support and restitution, enter a treatment program, be supervised by GPS monitoring and maintain good behavior.