LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Investigators have raided a New Mexico mayor’s home, and her city hall offices, looking for evidence that she steered business to her boyfriend’s construction company to line both of their pockets.
It all started with a flooring job at city hall. The mayor’s boyfriend got the contract with a bid investigators believe was rigged by the mayor herself.
Thursday morning, agents from the Attorney General’s office raided Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron house, city hall, and her boyfriend Marvin Salazar’s business, Gemini Construction. After that hardwood flooring job two years ago, tipsters in city government came forward, suspecting the mayor leaked bidding info to her boyfriend.
She had demanded to know the prior bids from a city worker. When told that was inside information, she reportedly blurted, “I was elected to know everything and I will know everything.”
The leading bid was just over $9,000. The boyfriend’s bid then came in at $8,998. He got the job, then the job payout doubled without going back to a bid.
“These are dollars, that if the allegations are true, were taken from a public source that is used to help families and children and the citizens of Las Vegas, and could’ve potentially been used inappropriately,” David Carl, Attorney General’s office spokesperson, said.
It’s not just city hall. The mayor is also accused of helping Salazar get a $700 contract to install a scoreboard at the little league field, that he then collected $3,000 for instead.
The mayor did want to comment, but in search warrants, she’s quoted as telling investigators she did nothing wrong, and that she and Salazar are just good friends. However, agents have seen photographic evidence that shows the two have been involved since 2014, two years before she was elected mayor there.
There are more accusations, including one where the mayor ordered Solid Waste to let Salazar use the dump for free. To read the entire search warrant, click here.