ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It's the image that could cost him his seat on the county commission. Now Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener said he will step down as Vice Chair of the Commission, but he's keeping his seat.
He made his first public appearance since a picture of the politician posing with half naked women in front of a brothel in the Philippines appeared on the internet. At a community picnic hosted by the county, the commissioner made no mention of the scandal, but instead read a written statement to News 13.
"I may have exercised poor judgment while on vacation on my dime, but I also know that there was nothing illegal or inappropriate in my behavior throughout that trip," read the Commissioner.
He insists he did nothing wrong and commented he will not step down or drop out of the upcoming primary.
Top politicians are calling for Wiener's resignation including fellow Republicans Governor Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor RJ Berry.
"There's been somewhat of a lynch mob developing," Wiener said. "Despite this I will continue to do my job that I was elected to by my constituents."
The picture was taken by a Seattle photographer who was in the Philippines documenting the foreign sex trade. Wiener was vacationing in the area with his girlfriends, the pair was visiting Wiener's daughter.
The Commissioner is running against Lonnie Talbert in the upcoming primary. Wiener hopes voters will look at his record, not the racy photo come June.
News 13 showed the pictures to voters attending the picnic, and they were not quick to judge the commissioner. They say they will, however, take it into consideration when casting their ballots.
This is not the first time the commissioner's conduct has come into question. In the recent past, he's been criticized for off color jokes he made at work. He apologized and rejected calls for his resignation then as well.
An emotional mother is still waiting for answers about what happened to her missing daughter.
The federal jury weighing a life or death sentence for convicted killer John McCluskey has announced it couldn't reach a decision.
New details about the two New Mexico men arrested Tuesday for the murder of a Texas woman.
They are two coaches building their respective football programs.
It was a Food Network show that inspired some students at Sandia High School.
Albuquerque will soon be getting a new library, the first one built here in decades.