New Mexico Pols In Stripper Blackmail Scandal
There’s some really odd things going on in New Mexico:
Two city officials in Sunland Park, New Mexico were arrested on extortion charges after they allegedly tried to blackmail a political opponent by sending a stripper to his office and secretly videotaping the encounter.
Sunland Park Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Salinas and City Manager Jaime Aguilera were arrested Saturday and charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, evidence tampering, and conspiracy to commit evidence tampering, all third or fourth-degree felonies.
They are each being held on $50,000 bonds, and are scheduled for an arraignment Monday. If convicted, they each face up to 7.5 years in prison.
Gerardo Hernandez, a candidate for mayor against Salinas, claims that Salinas hired a topless woman to come into his office and dance for him — “as any gentleman would know, it was a lap dance,” Hernandez said of the incident — secretly filmed it, then tried to use the tape to blackmail Hernandez into dropping out of the race.
Hernandez says he was approached by a man who “said, ‘We have a video of you and we’re going to release it if you don’t withdraw from the race.’ And I said, ‘Well, you can release it, because I’m not going to withdraw from the race.'”
Authorities raided city hall last week and, according to an arrest affidavit, found the video on Aguilera’s computer — and that it was being worked on with editing software. The video had been put on his computer on February 15, according to authorities, a day before the alleged extortion attempt occurred.
No word on what happened to the topless woman.