Give state regulation secretary walking papers

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By Sherry Robinson

What’s going on with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing? Investigative reporters for the Albuquerque Journal have been all over the department and its secretary, J. Dee Dennis Jr.
It’s not surprising. From the beginning, he was one of the governor’s most dubious appointees — a businessman and campaign contributor who ponied up $16,000. The governor promised that business people would have “a friend and an ally” in Dennis, a self-made man who founded and grew DKD Electric Co. in Albuquerque and was later CEO of a solar start-up company.
State regulation could be less heavy handed, certainly, but the department with Dennis at the wheel has overcorrected, and it’s not good for anybody. Even more troubling is that he has reportedly abused his authority.
Red flags have been there from the beginning.
One of the first things Dennis did was to fire Bill Verant, the state’s respected chief banking regulator for 16 years.

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