SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (KRQE) — The state will be taking over Sunland Park finances in lieu of State Auditor Hector Balderasâ€™ release of an ugly audit Monday that shows the townâ€™s widespread corruption.
Balderas says his office found 27 violations, chief among them was regarding former interim Mayor Daniel Salinas. The audit found that Salinas, who won the March election, used more than $42,000 in public funds on his own mayoral campaign. He also used the money on an official trip to Mexico, which included trips to a brothel house.
The audit also showed that Salinas used city money to pay an operative for a racy video of rival Gerardo Hernandez with a stripper.
And as if that wasnâ€™t enough, it also showed how Salinas and the former city manager were lowering utility bills for many people, one by more than $500.
Salinas is currently behind bars on more than 30 charges.
On Monday the Stateâ€™s Department of Finance and Administration suspended the townâ€™s finance director and purchasing agent and now the state will take over the finances.
"This is a tragedy for the taxpayers and the residents of Sunland Park and more importantly its also a tragedy in how not to govern and I'm hopeful we can work cooperatively to restore fiscal order,â€ť Balderas said Monday.
The Sunland Park City Council met for a fourth time Monday to pick a mayor. Thing got really heated and there was a lot of yelling, but in the end the council couldnâ€™t choose a new mayor and decided to try again Friday night.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.