POSTED: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 6:55pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 19, 2010 - 6:37pm
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.