SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (KRQE) - The Sunland Park city council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to declare the mayor position vacant, and the man caught in an uncompromising position with a stripper on video could be given a second chance.
Gerardo Hernandez is one of the front-runners for the mayoral appointment, according to interim mayor and city councilor Isabel Santos.
In February, investigators believe candidate Daniel Salinas paid an operative to make the tape of Hernandez getting a lap dance from a stripper, then leak it. Salinas was charged with extortion. He was also charged with bribery in an unrelated scheme. As part of his ticket out of jail, a judge barred Salinas from stepping foot in city hall or contacting any city workers, which meant he couldn't be sworn in.
Salinas was mandated to be sworn in by 5 p.m. Thursday, but he missed the deadline.
Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins said it's too close to the June primaries to hold another election.
"They have to give all kinds of notices and so they're not able to hold a special election at all," said Ellins.
So Mayor Pro Tem Santos said her fellow councilors will have to appoint someone new. At the top of their list is Hernandez, according to Santos.
Hernandez claims the Salinas team cast fake votes, and he's filed complaints with the clerk's office to get the election overturned. According to official results, election day voters overwhelmingly went for Hernandez. But Salinas, who was the interim mayor leading up to the election, scored 80 percent of the early and absentee votes.
"I know I wont the elections," said Hernandez. "The absentee ballots was not supervised by anybody."
A city employee was arrested for trying to register a Texas couple to vote absentee for Salinas. In total, ten city workers have been charged with crimes related to Salinas' two arrests.
Mayor Pro Tem Santos said the city council could decide to name one of its own members as mayor.
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