SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The city manager of Española will keep his job while he faces felony charges for allegedly accepting bribes from an asphalt company while working as Santa Fe County's public works director.
James Lujan, another former city employee and the owners of Advantage Asphalt and Seal Coating were indicted on Feb. 24 by a Santa Fe County grand jury. They're charged with bilking the county out of about $1 million by filing false paperwork and charging the county for materials the county already owned and for labor performed by the county's own employees.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the city council in Española voted on Tuesday to reject Lujan's resignation letter and keep him on unless he is convicted. He is charged with multiple counts of fraud, bribery and racketeering.
Española Mayor Alice Lucero told the paper Lujan has done an excellent job for her city.
Lujan did not return phone calls from the New Mexican, nor did the attorney for the company.
In July 2010 KRQE News 13 reported investigators had raided the homes of Lujan and the owner of Advantage Asphalt, Anthony "Joe" Montoya, and were conducting tests of Advantage paving projects done under contract to the county.
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