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COMMISSIONER cynthia b. hall- District 1
Commissioners :: District 1

 

Cynthia B. Hall

Commissioner - District 1
Cynthia.Hall@state.nm.us

1120 Paseo De Peralta
P.O. Box 1269
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
(505) 827-8015


Press Releases

Commissioner Hall's Staff:

Stephanie Dzur

Phone: (505) 827-8015
EMail:

Cynthia B. Hall is the Commissioner of the 1st District of the Public Regulation Commission.

District 1 is shown as the purple area on the map below.



Click here for larger view of map

 


Personal Background
Cynthia B. Hall was elected to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and represents District 1, the smallest in land size and most condensed of New Mexico’s five districts of the PRC, representing much of the Albuquerque metro area.
Having won a position on the Public Regulation Commission, she seeks to restore the public’s trust in the agency, and to use her skills to advance the PRC’s mission in a way that best serves the ratepayers and energy consumers of New Mexico.  The PRC has a direct impact on all New Mexicans because it regulates the rates we are charged by the electric, gas, water, landline phone, and transportation companies.
Cynthia grew up in rural Indiana.  She earned a B.S. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.S. in Physiology from St. Louis University.
Her varied science career included in-house physiology instruction to hospital nurses, supervising genetic toxicology research at Ralston Purina Company, carcinogen literature research for Citizens for a Better Environment, and organizing the renewable energy library of an architectural-engineering services firm, which cemented her interest in the potential of renewable energy technologies.
After graduating from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, where she co-founded the Environmental Law Forum and was a member of the Law Review and Moot Court, Cynthia moved to New Mexico to clerk for Oliver Seth, then Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Santa Fe.  She then stayed on to work in several state agencies, including the Public Service Commission, an earlier incarnation of the present day Public Regulation Commission.
After meeting and marrying her husband, Alan, in Santa Fe, Cynthia spent three years in the San Francisco Bay area, where she was a civilian environmental, land use, and real estate attorney for the United States Navy while Alan attended law school.  She and Alan returned to New Mexico in 1990, this time to Albuquerque, where they have lived ever since.
Cynthia was the first female attorney hired at Sandia National Laboratory.  She founded and led the Anderson Field Alliance, a non-profit open-space advocacy organization that lobbied successfully for the acquisition of more than 1,200 acres of open space parcels in the Albuquerque metro area, funded by a voter-approved, single-purpose, two-year, quarter-cent increase in the city gross receipts tax.  She also founded and led Music and Art in the Schools, a non-profit advocacy organization that lobbied the New Mexico State Legislature and APS to fund more arts education in elementary schools, and achieved a 66 percent increase in art and music teachers in APS, doubling instruction time in two years.
Later, while working in a Native American-owned law firm, Cynthia fought to improve the adverse economic and housing conditions facing pueblo Indians in New Mexico, including the availability of basic services, such as water and electricity.
While a Bernalillo County Planning Commissioner, she worked to assure transparent and reasonable planning and zoning solutions consistent with the applicable long-term land use plans.
Cynthia’s knowledge of the PRC operations is both broad and deep.  She has worked as an associate general counsel at the PRC for two years, advising the Commission on a wide range of matters, including electric, gas, and water utility, telecommunications, transportation, personnel, ethics, and public records matters.  Most recently she served as the sole Staff Counsel in the Insurance Division, providing legal assistance to division staff on managed health care, insurance agent compliance, contract, consumer complaint and rule-making matters.
Cynthia is strongly committed to the highest level of professionalism, efficiency and transparency in Commission actions, continuous improvement in staff performance and working conditions, including training, and the best possible protection for consumer interests under the law.
“I sought a seat on the Public Regulation Commission because I care about the future of New Mexicans, and the PRC has a significant role in creating that future.
The PRC is a very important agency for the wellbeing of New Mexico’s residents and its economy.  It regulates natural monopoly industries, such as electric, gas and water utilities, and also regulates the telecommunications industry and common carriers, such as taxi cabs, limousines and van services.
When these industries raise their rates for service, it affects individual consumers’ wallets right away, and the services are indispensable.  All businesses are affected by these higher rates, so there is a ripple effect throughout the economy that can negatively impact economic growth and quality of life.  The rates set by the PRC affect your utility bills at the end of each month and also the price you pay for goods and services that are produced in New Mexico.
The decisions made by Commissioners in rate cases or other cases that involve increased costs to New Mexicans, such as the investment by a regulated entity in new forms of technology, should be made with great care, after deliberating over all relevant information.  They should be made by Commissioners who understand the issues and will make decisions informed by appropriate training, knowledge and experience.  And especially, they should be made by Commissioners who are ethical and concerned first and foremost about the people and the future of New Mexico.
As a former Planning Commissioner for Bernalillo County, I understand the importance of persuasion and leadership in a decision-making body.  As a former administrative law judge, I have been the sole decision-maker and understand the need to be firm in one’s convictions.  I bring a lawyer’s knowledge, discipline and thoroughness in research and analysis to each case, so I will add value to decision-making beyond the recommendations of Staff, a Hearing Examiner or General Counsel.
We have also seen striking new changes in the PRC-regulated industries and their marketplaces as a result of evolving technologies, such as cell phones, ride-share apps and renewable energy technologies.  I am working to ensure that New Mexicans get the protection they deserve under these evolving conditions and the fair decisions that guide the Commission in the future.
I strongly believe New Mexico’s ratepayers deserve competent, open government that looks to the future, and that’s the kind of work I am doing for New Mexicans.”

 

Professional Experience

 

  •  Hearing Officer/Associate General Counsel, May 2014-present, Office of the Superintendent of Insurance: Sat as Hearing Officer for all agency hearings and wrote recommended decisions (75 percent of time); represented OSI in state courts; served as Public Records Custodian.
  • Prosecutor/Hearing Officer, May 2012-May 2014, Office of the Superintendent of Insurance: Prosecuted felony insurance fraud cases in state court.  Additional duties as Hearing Examiner (50 percent of time), Public Records Custodian (20 percent of time).

  •  Staff Attorney, November 2010-January 2012, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s Insurance Division: Prepared Superintendent of Insurance (SOI) orders on complaints, appeals and enforcement actions; represented Staff in hearings; drafted legislation and regulations.
  • Associate General Counsel, November 2008-September 2010, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission: Advised Commission and prepared orders on utility, transportation, and telecommunications matters; handled rule-makings, Inspection of Public Record Act requests, and special projects.

  • Associate Attorney, January 2006-October 2007, Chee Law Offices, PC: Provided legal services to eight Native American Housing Authorities in real estate, construction, employment, contracts, and corporate matters; lobbied New Mexico Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.
  • Attorney (1985-1994 and 2003-2005)
    • Regulatory: New Mexico Public Regulation Commission; New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department; New Mexico Energy Minerals & Natural Resources Department
    • Corporate: Sandia National Laboratories
    • Military: U.S. Navy, Western Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command
    • Private Practice: Chee Law Offices, P.C.; Hall Legal Services; O’Conner, Cohn, Dillon & Barr

  • Law Clerk (1983-1985)
    • Private Practice: Kellahin & Kellahin
    • Judicial: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; U.S. District Court, Central District of California

     
Education
  • E.M.B.A. classes: 2010-2013 University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Management, Albuquerque
  • J.D.: May 1983, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles
  • M.S.: Physiology January 1977, Saint Louis University, Physiology Department, St. Louis
  • B.A. Biology: August 1973, Washington University, Biology Department, St. Louis
Community Involvement
  • Member, Renewable Energy Industries Association, 2012-2015; Vice-President, 2013-2014
  • Candidate, Democratic Primary Race for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, District 1, January-June 2012
  • Commissioner, Bernalillo County Planning Commission, 2006-2008
  • Founder and President, Music and Art in the Schools (MAS), 1998-2000: This non-profit corporation lobbied the New Mexico State Legislature and APS to fund more arts education in elementary schools and achieved a 66 percent increase in art and music teachers in APS, doubling instruction time in two years.
  • Founder and President, Anderson Field Alliance, 1995-1997:  This non-profit corporation’s work for the public acquisition of 138-acre Anderson Field, now Los Poblanos Open Space, part of the City of Albuquerque’s Open Space, resulted in the voter-approved passage of a two-year 1/4-cent gross receipts tax to fund city-wide open space acquisitions and the purchase of over 1250 acres.
  • Volunteer Instructor, Hands-On Science After-School Program, 1996
  • Science Fair Organizer and Judge, Alvarado Elementary School, 1996-2003; Taft Middle School, 2004
  • Science Fair Judge, Jefferson Middle School, 2003-2005, New Mexico Regional Science Fair, 2004-2005


 
 
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