Telecommunications provider CenturyLink hired Katerine Martinez—appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to head the Construction Industries Division—as a government affairs director. Martinez is at least the second New Mexico state official this year to move from state government to CenturyLink's corporate payroll.
Thomas Cole at the Albuquerque Journal reports:
The issue: [Gov.] Martinez’s two-year ban on former officials working as registered lobbyists or paid representatives before any executive state agency or the Legislature....Like other appointees of the governor, Martinez was required to agree that for two years after leaving government, she wouldn’t appear “as a registered lobbyist, agent, or other paid representative of another person or entity before any executive agency, department, or board, or the New Mexico Legislature.”
Enrique Knell, a spokesman for Gov. Martinez, says the prohibition applies to lobbying before agencies under the governor’s control and the Legislature. That means Martinez apparently could appear before the Public Regulation Commission, an independent agency that oversees telecommunications companies like CenturyLink.
There's no relation between Gov. Martinez and Katerine Martinez.
CenturyLink declined to comment to Cole.
In August, SFR profiled Public Regulation Commission Chief of Staff Johnny Montoya's move from the regulatory body to CenturyLink—despite a state law that says PRC employees may not take "anything of value" from entities like CenturyLink that are regulated by the PRC.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico's final version of its new study on the PRC recommends that PRC commissioners and advisory staff should be prohibited from working in a business regulated by the PRC for at least one year after they complete their tenure there. So-called revolving door legislation that would've implemented prohibitions against lawmakers and PRC commissioners from moving immediately from public service to lobbying died again in the Roundhouse last session.