A New Mexico city is facing a $1 million lawsuit after it canceled contracts that the mayor signed while he was drunk.
Sunland Park Mayor Martin Resendiz, who has announced plans to run as a Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce in 2012, acknowledges that he had had way too much to drink at a lunch with executives of architectural design firm Synthesis+ — the same company that is now suing, according to several news reports.
The city council refused to pay the San Diego-based company, saying it had not approved nine contracts that the mayor signed in either May or June 2008 at Ardovino’s restaurant in Sunland Park. Synthesis+ officials say they were signed in July of that year and that Resendiz had been sober at the time.
Resendiz said in a court deposition that he didn’t read the documents before signing them and didn’t ask for copies. “This was after two or three hours of us drinking, not exactly the best time to do business, not exactly the best time to read over legal documents,” he said.
He added that he was so inebriated, “My sister had to pick me up.”
He said he had told company executives that the contracts would have to go before the council – and that, anyway, there was no money to pay for the work. But he admitted he hadn’t informed the council. “Number one, it’s not something to brag about,” he said in his deposition.
City Councilman Daniel Salinas backed Resendiz, saying he also was at the restaurant — and he also was drunk. Salinas said he did not realize that documents that Resindez was given were contracts. “It never passed through my mind,” he said.
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