Election Extortion Case Moves to NM Supreme Court

Thursday, 29 Mar 2012 12:11 PM

By Robert Engler

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A New Mexico mayor-elect has petitioned the state Supreme Court to allow him to take office immediately, despite the fact that he is facing criminal charges for alleged conspiracy to commit extortion during his election campaign.
 
Sunland Park Mayor-elect Daniel Salinas is currently free on bail, pending the start of his trial. But if he is not sworn in as mayor before April 5, he will have to forfeit his scandal-tainted election victory over Gerardo Hernandez, the Las Cruces Sun reported Wednesday.

Salinas is awaiting trial on charges of threatening to release a videotape of Hernandez getting a lap dance at a topless bar. As part of his bail release, the district court judge in the trial has barred Salinas from having contact with the city clerk, who is charged with administering the oath of office.

Salinas’ attorney, Joshua Spencer, is asking the state Supreme Court to order the trial judge to revise his client’s bail conditions so he can be sworn in. The restriction, Spencer argues in his motion, violates Salinas’ constitutional rights and amounts to the court indirectly interfering in the election.

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