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District Attorney: Ex-Sunland Park Mayor-Elect Solicited Kickbacks For Alcohol, Prostitutes In Mexico

Daniel Salinas should be a few weeks into his stint as mayor of Sunland Park, N.M.

Instead, he is accused by District Attorney Amy Orlando of soliciting kickbacks from a company to purchase alcohol and prostitutes in Mexico and then submitting fraudulent receipts to be reimbursed for the entertainment.

He was taken into custody Friday afternoon, accused of 18 counts related to fraud, conspiracy and kickbacks. Prosecutors are seeking to hold Salinas on a $1 million bond.

Part of the new allegations involve getting a campaign video produced at taxpayer expense, and taking a trip to Mexico to discuss a multi-million dollar contract for an environmental impact report for a proposed border crossing.

During that trip, Salinas was allegedly treated to food, alcohol, a trip to a strip club, and prostitutes for which he subsequently billed the city.

Salinas had been arrested twice before in recent weeks for allegedly being involved in an extortion plot that included a video of his mayoral opponent receiving a lap dance from a topless woman. He had been under house arrest since the second arrest.

Salinas was barred from taking the oath of office because his terms of release prohibit him from having contact with the clerk who administers the oath.

Sunland Park’s interim mayor said that the city council will meet Tuesday to declare the mayor’s office vacant since Salinas couldn’t meet Thursday’s deadline. Salinas, a former city council member, was elected mayor in early March.

Isabel Santos said Gerardo Hernandez, the man who appears in the video with the topless woman, is a front-runner for the vacancy.

Check for more details as they become available.

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