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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    NM- More criminal charges in Sunland Park election fraud and public corruption

    More criminal charges in Sunland Park election fraud and public corruption

    By Diana Alba Soular \ Las Cruces Sun-News


    05/20/2012

    LAS CRUCES -- More criminal charges were filed Friday in the ongoing investigation of election fraud and public corruption in Sunland Park.
    New charges were filed against Silvia Gomez, Jesus Dario Hernandez, Gilbert Velez, Hector Gonzalez and Marie Gonzalez, said Doña Ana County District Attorney Amy Orlando on Saturday.

    Charges against Gomez, the town's former senior center director, relate to her role in allegedly registering four Texas residents to vote in the March 6 Sunland Park Municipal Election. She had been charged previously for allegedly registering another Texas couple to vote.

    Hernandez, the former Sunland Park public works director, was also charged with voter fraud. He is sought but still at large for his alleged role in the extortion of mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez and in fraud involving a trip to Mexico.

    Velez, Sunland Park's IT manager, was charged with tampering with evidence on Feb. 21 while members of New Mexico State Police were trying to execute a search warrant at City Hall, records show.

    The final set of charges filed Friday relate to a Texas couple, Hector and Marie Gonzalez, for allegedly using fraudulent, counterfeit or forged documents to obtain a New Mexico driver's license from the Sunland Park Motor Vehicle Division.

    Hector and Marie Gonzalez are the parents of Luis Rene Diaz, who was charged in recent weeks for allegedly financing the extortion video used against Hernandez. The cost was allegedly billed to the city of Sunland

    Park."The District Attorney's Office is committed to protecting the honest citizens of Sunland Park and New Mexico from the fraud and unfair practices that have plagued the city, prevented fair competition and limited government resources from dissemination to the public," Orlando said.

    A string of criminal investigations surrounds former Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Salinas, who is also the former mayor-elect. The criminal charges started in February after mayoral candidate Hernandez claimed someone had tried to blackmail him with the release of a video of him and a topless dancer. Since then, allegations have grown to include kickback schemes, fraud and bribery.

    Last week, state finance department Secretary Tom Clifford appointed one of his staff members to take over the positions of two suspended city finance officials.

    Clifford announced last week the suspension of Finance Director Helen Gonzalez and purchasing agent Neryza Rivera, and he appointed Ryan Gleason to take over their duties.

    Gonzalez and Rivera still have due-process hearings, during which they can argue their cases. The hearings will take place June 14, officials said.

    Clifford could extend the suspensions or remove them.

    A divide on the City Council has pitted Mayor Pro Tem Isabel Santos against another faction of councilors, who have attempted to circumvent her in the scheduling and posting of public meetings.

    Despite public pressure, councilors can't agree on how they should fill the vacant mayor's seat. The two candidates are Hernandez and a former jewelry salesman, Javier Perea, 24.

    On Monday, Salinas is set to enter a plea in connection with the most recent, nine felony charges he's facing. In all, he's charged with 33 felony counts. He has denied guilt.

    More criminal charges in Sunland Park election fraud and public corruption - El Paso Times


    SEE ALSO:
    http://www.alipac.us/f12/corruption-...border-257394/

    http://www.alipac.us/f12/government-...s-rise-256134/

    http://www.alipac.us/f17/new-mexico-...uption-254688/

    http://www.alipac.us/f12/voter-fraud...d-park-252377/

    http://www.alipac.us/f12/n-m-border-...-probe-252247/
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    RELATED MEXICAN CORRUPTION ..

    Slew of officials in New Mexico 'city of chaos' face corruption charges

    Posted: May 17, 2012 10:07 AM CDT Updated: May 17, 2012 10:07 AM CDT


    Source: FOX News


    SUNLAND PARK, N.M. -- A slew of officials in a New Mexico town dubbed "a city in chaos" face felony charges over using public money and trying to steal an election.

    The state took over financial oversight of Sunland Park -- just over the border from Ciudad Juarez -- after an investigation uncovered extortion, widespread voter fraud and corruption in the town.

    The explosive case even involves Mexican prostitutes, strippers and an undercover video used to try and force a mayoral candidate to drop out of the race.

    District Attorney Amy Orlando said, "It started with extortion charges, and from that it then led us to the voter fraud cases."

    Twelve people -- many public officials and city employees including mayor-elect Daniel Salinas -- face dozens of charges in four separate cases.

    Salinas, 28, was barred from taking office and the city has had no mayor since the election on March 6.

    The criminal charges against all the defendants include voter fraud, bribery, extortion, conspiracy, kickbacks and blackmail.

    Orlando told FOX News, "The whole common scheme was to get Mr. Salinas elected. It was all done to further Daniel Salinas and the other people who wanted to stay in control of all the money, all the resources, which just hurts all of the citizens of Sunland Park."

    Among the allegations are charges that city workers registered people who did not even live in New Mexico and convinced them to vote for Salinas during early voting.

    In addition, absentee ballot applications were allegedly intercepted before reaching the city clerk, so that Salinas' opponents could not hand them out to their supporters.

    Mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez claims officials pressured people into signing in support and accused opponents of releasing a video tape showing him getting a lap dance from a topless woman. He lost the election by 84 votes.

    Salinas remains behind bars, unable to post the $150,000 bond. His attorney said he will again plead not guilty at the next arraignment Monday.

    Slew of officials in New Mexico 'city of chaos' face corruption charges - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
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  3. #3
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Voter fraud allegations in mayoral election rock New Mexico city

    By Eric Shawn

    Published May 17, 2012

    FoxNews.com

    Sunland Park, N.M. – There is perhaps no other city in the country like Sunland Park, N.M.

    VIDEO: Audit reveals voter fraud, bribes, topless dances

    The dusty border town minutes from El Paso, Texas, has been called "a city in chaos" by the state auditor, because a slew of public officials are facing felony charges that they ran City Hall like a personal piggy bank, tried to steal an election in order to remain in power and ruled the 14,000 residents through intimidation and fear.

    The state is now moving to take over financial oversight of the city, as the council scrambles to try and name a new mayor.

    The explosive case even involves Mexican prostitutes, strippers and an undercover video of a mayoral candidate getting a lap dance from a topless woman. The video allegedly was used to try to force him to drop out of the race.

    Authorities say the extortion investigation has revealed widespread voter fraud and public corruption in the small city just south of the Rio Grande.

    "It started with extortion charges, and from that it then led us to the voter fraud cases," says Dona Ana Third Judicial District Attorney Amy Orlando, who is prosecuting the growing case.

    So far, her office has charged 12 people, many public officials and city employees, including 28-year-old Mayor-elect Daniel Salinas, who faces dozens of charges in four separate cases. He was barred from taking office, and the city has been without a mayor since the election on March 6. Isabel Santos is serving as mayor pro tem in the meantime.

    The criminal charges against all the defendants range from voter fraud to bribery to extortion to conspiracy to kickbacks to blackmail.

    "The whole common scheme was to get Mr. Salinas elected," Orlando told Fox News. "It was all done to further Daniel Salinas and the other people who wanted to stay in control of all the money, all the resources, which just hurts all of the citizens of Sunland Park.”

    Among the allegations are charges that city workers registered people who didn't even live in New Mexico and convinced them to vote for Salinas during early voting.

    In addition, absentee ballot applications were allegedly intercepted before reaching the city clerk, so that Salinas’ opponents could not hand them out to their supporters.

    "They pressured the poor, old people, the people who don't know English. They were forced to sign without knowing what they were signing. It’s incredible, it’s disgusting," mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez told Fox News.

    Hernandez says he was ahead on election night during in-person voting, but after the absentee votes were counted, he lost to Salinas by 84 votes. He charges the election was stolen from him "by manipulating the absentee and early voting."

    It is a wonder that he stayed in the race. It was Hernandez who was caught on tape getting a lap dance from a topless woman. The video mysteriously surfaced during the campaign in an attempt, he says, to destroy his candidacy and force him to quit.

    Salinas and others are charged with extortion over the tape. Prosecutors say the Salinas faction used city money to make the tape and pay for the topless dancer.

    "They tried to get me out of the race," Hernandez said. "I said, well, I'm not going to withdraw from the race. If you want to show it to the media, show it. I am not going to withdraw. That's extortion."

    He says despite the salacious video, most of the people in Sunland Park support him because "they knew it was a set-up. They knew we're human. I felt it was a very cowardly act."

    Prosecutors are also investigating about 170 votes that they believe are fraudulent, including the ballots of residents of nearby El Paso who illegally voted in Sunland Park.

    One couple, Juana and Arturo Estrada, told Fox News that the director of the Sunland Park Senior Citizens Center, Silvia Gomez, told them that they could register and vote in Sunland Park, even though they live across the state border.

    "I told her we live in Texas,” said 56-year-old Arturo Estrada, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 18 and worked as a carpenter in Chicago to support his family until he retired. “She said no problem,” and then registered Arturo and his wife, Juana Estrada, for the upcoming election.

    The couple says they stressed to Gomez that they hoped to build their dream home in Sunland Park, but they still resided out of state and were not city residents. Gomez has been charged with conspiracy to commit false voting and, according to court papers, admitted to investigators "that she had registered several people to vote using her address."

    So far, prosecutors have found 13 people who were registered to vote from her house, including the Estradas. No one was home when Fox News visited for comment.

    "It has always seemed like this case has been a political witch-hunt," says Salinas' attorney, Joshua Spencer. He told Fox News that Salinas, who is not charged with a voter fraud count, "absolutely did not" try to steal the election.

    "The people made their decision, the people voted. The votes speak for themselves. Mr. Salinas won the election while he was accused of this crime (extortion), the people knew about it, so it wasn't a secret and they still voted him as mayor. He didn't steal the election, he won the election."

    Spencer says that Salinas cannot be held accountable for possible illegal acts carried out without his knowledge by supporters. He also wants an FBI investigation of the state investigation, saying that for his client, the case has "ruined his political reputation,” and that the charges “have physically and emotionally drained him.”

    Salinas remains behind bars, unable to post the $150,000 bond. Spencer says his client will again plead not guilty at the next arraignment Monday, on the latest charges.

    But Orlando, the prosecutor, insists she will not be deterred.

    "The fundamental right to vote, that's what our democracy is based on," she said. "So even if you take away one vote by it being illegal, you take away the voice of someone that is there and voting honestly. They vote us into office and … they want to know that they can trust their elected officials. ... So when you find out that there is an election that is being mishandled and is being corrupt because of hiding of ballots or trying to take an unfair advantage, of course that makes all politicians or elected officials look bad. And I think that makes citizens feel, who can they trust if they can't trust the people they are electing?"

    Hernandez said he is saddened by the fraud he says he has witnessed..

    "The vote is the sacred right of the United States, of citizens of the United States," he said. "We are the example of democracy for the world, for the entire world. It shouldn't be happening."

    The allegations have also so disheartened Arturo and Juana Estrada that they refuse to vote again. "I changed my mind,” Arturo Estrada said. He told Fox News he trusted the Sunland Park authorities, and the result was a visit from the police.

    He emphasized that he and his wife are hard-working, law-abiding citizens. They had planned to vote in the upcoming presidential election, but no longer have faith in the electoral system.

    “We don’t want to vote no more, nowhere,” he said.

    Voter fraud allegations in mayoral election rock New Mexico city | Fox News
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  4. #4
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    ADDED TO ALIPAC HOMEPAGE News with amended title ..

    http://www.alipac.us/content/nm-more...orruption-535/
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  5. #5
    Senior Member stevetheroofer's Avatar
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    All this on the tail of Susana Martinez announcing her La Razan heritage! "Nice" wonder if this is how she got voted in, in the first place!

    The Office of Governor Susana Martinez is located on the 4th floor of the New Mexico State Capitol in Room 400, and the phone number is (505) 476-2200.

    Contact the Governor

    https://twitter.com/#!/Gov_Martinez

    Susana Martinez | Facebook
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