Mayor Talks About Arrested Councilman


POSTED: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 5:55pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 19, 2010 - 5:37pm

SOCORRO - From dysfunctional city council meetings, to a mayor accused by the feds of corruption... Socorro is already known for its controversy, but will the latest blow to the town leave an empty office in city hall?

After dodging questions from other media stations we were finally able to get answers from Mayor Willie Gandara on the drug charges facing Luis Varela.

"I am very shocked, very shocked because I really didn't know what's going on," he said.

We asked Mayor Gandara if Varela should step down because deputies say he was busted driving a delivery van full of pot and cocaine.

"You were the first one to let me know over the phone, and you know, it's like I say this is between him and his lawyer. I can't comment on it," he said.

Socorro city council will meet on Thursday for the first time since Varela was arrested. So far one member of council is looking forward to his resignation.

"It's a shame that happened. I do hope that we see his resignation soon," Councilman Jesus Gandara said.

That's something the Mayor wasn't about to say. "That is his decision not mine."

You may remember the Mayor was indicted in a federal corruption probe earlier this year, and refused to resign from council himself. Councilman Gandara said because the Mayor didn't resign he doesn't think Varela will. That means the city would have to move through a recall to get him out of office. In the meantime, Mayor Gandara says the people of Socorro shouldn't worry.

"They should have confidence in this council. Like I have said you're innocent until proven guilty. That's all I'm going to say."

We will have a crew at tomorrow's city council meeting to tell you what happens.

Keep up with NewsChannel 9's Anthony Garcia on Twitter!

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The thing is that Jesus Gandara has issues with his uncle the Mayor Willie Gandara Sr. Don't you think it's a little obvious he has been trying to push him to resign every since he blamed him for getting him off the ballot for the election.

hes innocent till proven guilty. although he is a public figure this is a personnal problem. Hes a good council member, one of the few if not only that actually cares about socorro and its residents. he shouldnt be forced to step down from his office

are you stupid or what??? Once a crook always a crook. The Mayor and the Councilman should be kick off the council period.

There seems to be an attitude that enforcement of laws is disturbing them from doing their jobs, like it's taking them off issue. Remember, carrying hundreds of pounds of pot is only illegal for the lowly working poor or middle class, not illegal for Socorro reps and Mayor, laws are not to be enforced upon them, beacause they are better than regular citizens, they are soooooo superiorrrrrrrrrr! If ones guilty, in my view, they are all guilty of charges they face. Socorro kick the crooks out.

Does Socorro really need a local government. there seems to be no discernment between right and wrong with entire group, seemingly giving an endorsement of corruption, like it's ok, because we are making nero/cash. I predict the whole tribe will get off scott free, thats how much money they have to bribe judges/prosecutors. Can there be any integrity left, where honor is word one. I would not trust any of these people to babysit my pet rattle snake, let alone be the leaders of a town.

But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and whose mind is on his law day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which gives its fruit at the right time, whose leaves will ever be green; and he will do well in all his undertakings. Psalms 1:2

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