New Mexico General Services secretary announces retirement

June 2, 2021 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The secretary of the New Mexico General Services Department announced his retirement Wednesday after about 30 years in state government.

Ken Ortiz, 51, will retire from the state New Mexico General Services Department, which provides resources and services supporting state agencies, local government bodies and public schools, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

During his two years in the position, the department made $32 million in energy investments to state buildings, added 28 electric cars to its fleet and installed 30 charging stations for the cars.

The investments included installing solar panels, new central-air systems, low-flush toilets and tinted windows, Ortiz said. The investments are expected to save the department more than $1 million in energy costs, he said.


“It helps all of us,” Ortiz said of the energy-efficiency work. “Not just state employees, but the citizens of New Mexico and our children for generations to come.”

Ortiz also said the department assisted in planning a new 44,000-square-foot (4,000-square-meter) forensic laboratory under construction in Santa Fe, worked to become more transparent and bring more government contract dollars to local businesses.

Ortiz first began in the position after Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected, serving as chief of staff and other leadership roles in the secretary of state’s office from 2011 through 2018. He had previously served as secretary of the Department of Workforce Solutions and director of the Motor Vehicle Division. His career in government began in 1993, where he also worked in the Taxation and Revenue Department and the Human Services Department.

“It’s mixed feelings,” Ortiz said. “It’s tough to leave, but I’m also looking forward to the next chapter in my life as well. I have really enjoyed the opportunities and the people I’ve gotten to work with.”

Ortiz said he has no immediate plans beyond spending time with his family.

Deputy Secretary Duffy Rodriguez is expected to serve as the department’s interim head while the governor’s office searches for a replacement for Ortiz.

“I am deeply grateful to Ken for his willingness to serve New Mexicans in this role,” Lujan Grisham said. “He has been a steady and trustworthy public servant for decades. I wish him the best.”