Charges Of Topless Dancing Dirty Tricks Fly In New Mexico Mayor’s Race

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February 24, 2012 7:59 a.m.

The race to replace a New Mexico mayor — who once signed $1 million in architecture contracts while drunk — is now plagued with allegations that one candidate tried to set up another by hiring a topless dancer to go to his office, and have the incident filmed.Gerardo Hernandez of Sunland Park, New Mexico told KVIA-TV that he was meeting with his campaign manager and a job applicant in his office, when a topless woman came in and began to dance for them. “She started dancing and she was suggestive,” he said.

Hernandez claims that the man he was meeting with, a “Mexican national fleeing threats south of the border [who] offered to assist his campaign,” according to the Associated Press, brought the woman to the meeting. He then put on some music and said she liked to dance, which she proceeded to do. “As any gentleman would know, it was a lap dance,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez claims that the woman was sent by his opponent in the Sunland Park mayoral race, Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Salinas, who he says is trying to strong-arm him out of the race by threatening to release a tape of the incident. Hernandez says he was approached by a man who “said, ‘We have a video of you and we’re going to release it if you don’t withdraw from the race.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can release it, because I’m not going to withdraw from the race.'”

“[Hernandez] is going come up with a lot of excuses,” Salinas said. “He’s a married man, so I’d be thinking of a couple of excuses and try to blame this on different people and trying to make up my little story.”

In August, it was revealed that current Sunland Park Mayor Martin Resendiz admitted in a 2010 deposition that he had signed $1 million worth of contracts with a local architecture design firm after “a good two and a half, three hours” of drinking,” to the point where he was too drunk to drive home and had to be picked up by his sister. The deposition was part of a lawsuit filed against the city by the architecture firm for $1 million to cover work it did under the contracts. Salinas was also named in the lawsuit, and also admitted to being drunk during the meeting.

Hernandez and Salinas are two of the three candidates vying for Resendiz’s seat. Resendiz withdrew a challenge for Rep. Steve Pearce’s seat after the drunken contracts scandal.

On Tuesday, New Mexico state police with a search warrant raided city hall and temporarily shut it down. From the AP:

City Manager Jaime Aguilera said police were looking for video evidence from surveillance cameras pointed at the parking lot, but the district attorney’s office has not confirmed whether the sex tape allegations are connected to the raid. The details of the search warrant are sealed by a court order.

“I was told that it recorded an incident in the [city] parking lot, but I don’t know what that incident was,” Aguilera told the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Image from VikOl / Shutterstock.

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