NM Town Elects Mayor Who's Barred From City Hall

Indicted mayor can't talk to city officials either
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2012 12:39 PM CST
In this Jan. 10 photo, Sunland Park mayoral candidate Gerardo Hernandez speaks in front of City Hall in Las Cruces, NM.   (AP Photo/The Las Cruces Sun-News, Robin Zielinski, File)
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(Newser) – Sunland Park, New Mexico, elected 28-year-old Daniel Salinas as mayor yesterday, but Salinas is going to have a tough time doing the job; he's forbidden by law from stepping foot on city property or talking to city workers. Salinas, the town's current mayor pro tem, has been charged with extortion over allegations that he tried to get his opponent, Gerardo Hernandez, to drop out of the race by threatening him with a sex tape, the Las Cruces Sun-News explains.

The ban on stepping foot on city property is part of Salinas' bail. That doesn't prevent him from being sworn in, however—only an actual conviction would require him to step down. Hernandez, 59, says he's not ready to accept Salinas' victory just yet. Salinas' 84-vote win relied heavily on absentee ballots, and Hernandez has been questioning those ballots' validity for weeks. Some fraudulent ballots from Texans have already been found among them. (Read more Sunland Park, New Mexico stories.)

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