Regional
6:35 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

Board Demands Resignations From Columbus Officials

Columbus – The Columbus Board of Trustees wants the village's mayor and a trustee to resign after they were arrested in an alleged gun-smuggling ring.

The Deming Headlight reports trustees voted Wednesday to send letters to jailed Mayor Eddie Espinoza and Trustee Blas Gutierrez asking them to resign within 15 days.

Espinoza and Gutierrez are being held without bail on federal charges of conspiracy and firearms smuggling. They are among 12 people charged.

Should the men refuse to resign, the village could petition a state district court to remove them.

A New Mexico Municipal League official says the board can appoint someone to fill the mayor's position once it's vacant. The new mayor, in turn, would appoint a new trustee.

The village could choose instead to hold a special election.

___

Information from: Headlight, http://www.demingheadlight.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.