NM Insurance Commissioner Resigns After Approving Rate Hikes Before Public Hearing

New Mexico – New Mexico Insurance Superintendent Morris Chavez announced Tuesday he will step down from his post.

He says it was a tough decision but he decided to submit his resignation letter to the chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Tuesday after talking with his family.

He pointed to what he calls "sad and derogatory comments" that have been made about him and his family after the Insurance Division settled a contentious rate case last week involving Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and about 40,000 customers. The rate hikes were approved before a public hearing, angering people who attended the hearing.

He tells The Associated Press that he was shocked by some of the comments that were posted online. He says he didn't realize that people could be so mean-spirited when they don't understand the job that he has to do and the laws he must follow.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.