Partial State Takeover Of Sunland Park; Mayoral Appointment Delayed

May 14, 2012

The state Monday began a partial takeover of the troubled border town of Sunland Park after the state auditor released a report accusing officials of using the town's multi-million-dollar budget as personal slush funds.  And once again, the city's plan to appoint a new mayor has been delayed.

Immediately following the release of the report from Auditor Hector Balderas, Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford suspended the town's finance director and purchasing agents and said the state was taking over those functions.

Balderas said the report was just the beginning of his probe and said he was also asking the state to investigate the town's city council.

Many of the key players accused of wrongdoing in the town have already been fired or otherwise removed after being charged in a series of criminal cases that have been unleashed since state, local and federal officials descended on the notoriously dysfunctional town in February to investigate election fraud.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.