2013 story: Socorro City Council to continue investigation of ex-mayor Trini Lopez
City of Socorro city council voted Thursday night to continue and expand the formal investigation of former Mayor Trini Lopez.
After hours of closed door discussion and on a unanimous vote (representative Maria Reyes, District 1, Absent) City of Socorro leaders adopted a resolution that covered three areas;
1. It found that Former Mayor Trini Lopez engaged in illegal self-dealing in Socorro police department surplus property; that said acts constituted malfeasance in office and assessed the amount of the contract and any other sums due in connection therewith to Lopez. The City Manager was asked to research the matter to determine the exact amount to be included in the resolution.
2. It found that claims against Lopez before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding sexually harassing and sexually discriminatory comments resulted in expense to the city to defend and that Lopez while he was Mayor had made sexually discriminatory comments to community center employees and patrons regarding the (then) Community Center Director to the effect that her authority should be ignored because she is a female. The City council found that this constituted malfeasance in office and assessed the amount expended to defend the EEOC claim against Lopez. Again the City Manager is tasked with obtaining the exact amount.
3. It authorized an investigation related to other potential acts by Mayor Lopez as it has been alleged that he had a history of self-dealing with city business and especially in connection with city surplus property. An investigation was authorized under section 3.11 of the City Charter related to these allegations.
City of Socorro City Council also authorized an investigation of any other purchasing transactions with City of Socorro surplus property.
Source: City of Socorro public information office