The border town mayor and congressional candidate who admitted he was drunk when he signed contracts committing the city to $1 million in work has also been accused of requesting donations from the company when it came calling for payment.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Friday ( http://bit.ly/p6Evoq) that Sunland Park Mayor Martin Resendiz and City Councilor Daniel Salinas are both accused of soliciting the donations from California-based architectural firm Synthesis+.
In a lawsuit seeking payment, Synthesis+ claims that when an executive went to meet with Salinas for payment, the councilor asked for a $6,000 donation toward the city's library project. In a later meeting with the mayor, court records allege, Resendiz told the executive he "rewards constituents who look out for his political growth, interest and career."
After the Synthesis+ representative "declined the overture," according to the court complaint, Resendiz told him he had "changed his mind and that another firm will be handling the projects, but you're welcome to assist (Councilor) Salinas on his personal new library project" for his district.
Sunland Park spokesman Arturo Alba told the Sun-News that "Synthesis+ does make a lot of false accusations against Councilor Daniel Salinas and the mayor, Martin Resendiz. The city is confident all current pending litigations with Synthesis+ will be resolved with a positive outcome for the city."
Synthesis+ is suing the city for payment on nine contracts Resendiz signed in June 2008 related to a series of projects the city was planning.
In a deposition in the case, the mayor said he signed the documents after having way too much to drink with Synthesis+ officials at a local restaurant. He said he didn't know what he was signing.
Sunland Park contends the contracts were not valid because they weren't approved by the City Council.
Resendiz, a former El Paso, Texas, police officer and Sunland Park municipal judge, has been mayor since March 2008 and has said he plans to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com