SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (AP) — The mayor-elect of a troubled New Mexico border town has been arrested — again.
Daniel Salinas, of Sunland Park, was arrested overnight Monday on bribery and conspiracy charges alleging he gave acting Police Chief Luis Monarez his job in exchange for persuading Monarez’s sister not to run against a Salinas ally for City Council, according to Dona Ana County Assistant District Attorney Scot Key.
Monarez was arrested on bribery and conspiracy charges in the alleged plot earlier Monday.
Salinas and Monarez pleaded not guilty Tuesday but remained jailed in lieu of $50,000 and $30,000 secured bonds, respectively.
Salinas had already posted $50,000 cash following his arrest in late February on extortion and other charges related to accusations that he and the city manager tried to force an opponent out of the mayor’s race with a secretly recorded video of him getting a lap dance.
That set off a widespread probe that has resulted in eight arrests of current and former city officials on bribery, extortion, voter fraud and other charges.
More arrests are expected, Key said.
“This has become a full-time job for our office and for the task force,” the prosecutor said, noting that state police, officials with the secretary of state and the state auditor are all investigating the town’s recent elections and the city’s finances.