Sunland City Manager Pleads Guilty, Gets Probation
LAS CRUCES, Dec 20, 2012 (Albuquerque Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Former Sunland Park city manager Jaime Aguilera was sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to extortion and other charges related to the ill-fated attempt to force a mayoral candidate out of the race with an embarrassing video featuring a topless woman.
Aguilera, 62, was facing a January trial in the notorious case when he decided to plead guilty to charges of extortion, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.
Under the terms of the plea agreement filed in the last days of the term of District Attorney Amy Orlando, Aguilera faced six years of prison time which were suspended in favor of a five-year term of probation.
Aguilera had little to say about the admission of guilt in court or after the proceeding, when he declined to answer questions from a reporter.
In court, Aguilera told District Judge Jacinto Palomino, "I apologize for any harm I may have caused to those other parties."
Aguilera joined former Sunland Park city councilor and mayor pro tem Daniel Salinas, along with several other city officials, in carrying out a plot to embarrass Salinas' main challenger, Gerardo Hernandez, from the 2012 mayoral race. Salinas won the March election, even after he was charged with extortion, but he was never able to take office because terms of his release prevented him from speaking to municipal employees or even setting foot in city hall.
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