New Mexico Insurance Official is Formally Fired

August 2, 2006

New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission fired Deputy Insurance Superintendent Joe Ruiz on Monday, formalizing an action that was initiated last week.

Ron Morgan, an Albuquerque attorney representing Ruiz, said the PRC terminated his client “without offering to discuss the problem or give even one reason for the action.”

Dan Mayfield, the PRC’s chief of staff, declined comment when contacted by The Associated Press except to say Ruiz was “no longer an employee as of 5 p.m.”

Ruiz had been on leave amid allegations he solicited charitable donations from a company that faced fines from regulators.

On Friday, Mayfield issued a statement where he said he had taken action “regarding a personnel matter.” He didn’t identify the individual involved.

Morgan said the action targeted Ruiz, and he sharply criticized the PRC for failing to provide an administrative hearing or detail the allegations against his client.

Ruiz has maintained he’s done nothing wrong.

“This arbitrary use of government power leaves Mr. Ruiz with few choices to disprove any false statements made about him,” Morgan said in a news release. “We have little hope that the PRC will reverse its decision to deny Mr. Ruiz, after years of service, a chance to prove it has made a big mistake.”

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