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El Paso Electric Chairman of the Board Ken Heitz Passes Away

July 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ken Heitz, Chairman of the Board of El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE), passed away on July 9 in Los Angeles, California, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 65 years old. Heitz served as a member of EPE's Board since EPE's emergence from bankruptcy in 1996 and was named Chairman of the Board in 2008. He also served on EPE's External Affairs, Energy Resources and Environmental Oversight, Executive, and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committees. In January 2012, he was elected Chairman of our Compensation Committee.

"All of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with Ken are deeply saddened by his passing," said El Paso Electric CEO Tom Shockley. "Ken's contribution to EPE is immeasurable. His knowledge, experience, sound judgment and leadership were invaluable in guiding the Company through significant challenges and changes."

As a student at UCLA in the 1960s, Heitz was a member of three consecutive UCLA NCAA national championship men's basketball teams coached by John Wooden. He was a starting forward on the Bruin freshman team that defeated the two-time defending NCAA champion UCLA varsity squad, 75-60, in the first-ever game in Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 27, 1965. Heitz's freshman teammates that year included center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time), guard Lucius Allen, and forward Lynn Shackelford.

After graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA in 1969, Heitz attended Harvard Law School, where he earned a Juris Doctorate degree with honors.

Following graduation, Heitz joined the Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella. As a senior partner specializing in commercial litigation and corporate law, he was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2007-2012 in his specialty areas. Heitz received many other honors, including designation in The International Who's Who Legal as an expert in corporate governance and selection to the 2009 edition of California's Who's Who Legal. He was named to the Southern California "Super Lawyers" list by Los Angeles Magazine every year since 2006.

Michael Parks, Vice Chairman of the EPE Board, and Eric Siegel, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the EPE Board, said, "Ken has been a key member of the Board since the Company's emergence from bankruptcy in 1996 and played a pivotal role in the Company's return to prosperity. We will miss him greatly."

Heitz is survived by his wife Linda and their daughter Alex, his former wife Barbara and their daughters Jennifer and Joanna, and granddaughters Eva and Rachel.

El Paso Electric
Teresa Souza, 915-543-5823
Steve Busser, 915-543-5983
Lisa Budtke, 915-543-5947

Source: El Paso Electric

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