City council in New Mexico to vote on removing mayor

January 7, 2020 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — City officials in the northern New Mexico city of Las Vegas have scheduled a meeting to discuss the removal from office of the mayor indicted on bribery charges last month.

Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron pleaded not guilty Monday to all six criminal charges against her including engaging in an official act for personal financial gain, demanding or receiving a bride by a public officer or employee and soliciting or receiving an illegal kickback, authorities said.

The mayor allegedly rigged city contracts so her boyfriend, a general contractor, could get them, the attorney general of New Mexico said.

It appears there is nothing in the city charter that allows for removal of a mayor other than by a recall election, the mayor’s attorney Dan Cron said.

The council can vote for Gurule-Giron’s removal and that the matter would then go to a state district judge for consideration, city councilwoman Barbara Perea-Casey said. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday inside Council Chambers and is open to the public.

Gurule-Giron does not intend to run for reelection, Cron said.

Perea-Casey has announced that she will run for the position, she said.