Public Regulation Commissioner Carol Sloan was convicted today of two felonies – aggravated battery and aggravated burglary – for attacking another woman with a rock in July because she believed the woman was having an affair with her husband.
Under state law, convicted felons can’t hold elected office. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Sloan, a Democrat, doesn’t have to resign, but she’s no longer eligible for re-election in November.
That leaves four Democrats – Hank Hughes, Andrew Leo Lopez, George J. Galanis and Theresa Becenti-Aguilar – and one Republican – Gary J. Montoya – vying for the right to replace Sloan on the PRC.
Sloan plans to appeal her conviction, according to The Associated Press. Sentencing is scheduled for May 20, and she faces up to 12 years in prison.
Prosecutors alleged that Sloan confronted Brenda Yazzie at Yazzie’s apartment in July, accused her of having an affair with her husband and attacked her with a rock and kicked her. They said Yazzie was bruised and bleeding from a head injury after the assault.
The jury acquitted Sloan of a third charge, misdemeanor criminal damage to property.
Update, 4:50 p.m.
The state GOP has called for Sloan’s resignation.
“Commissioner Sloan received her day in court and was convicted of two felonies. Out of respect for the office she holds and the constituents she was elected to serve, Carol Sloan should resign immediately,” Chairman Harvey Yates Jr. said.
Update, 5:05 p.m.
State Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales is also calling for Sloan’s immediate resignation.
“I have called for Ms. Sloan’s immediate resignation from the PRC,” he said in a news release. “Ms. Sloan’s actions are appalling, unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Democrats or anyone else in New Mexico. The Democratic Party of New Mexico expects all elected officials to abide by a higher standard and work to move our state forward.”
Update, 5:15 p.m.
Lt. Gov. Diane Denish called on Sloan to resign.
“Public office is a public trust, and Ms. Sloan has violated that trust,” Denish said. “Therefore, I call on her to immediately resign her seat on the Public Regulation Commission.”