New Mexico

Former Sunland Park city manager facing sexual misconduct allegations in Southeastern NM

JAL,NM (AP) -  A city manager of a small southeastern New Mexico community is facing accusations of sexual harassment in one of the latest cases of sexual misconduct allegations against men across the U.S.
At least two women say Bob Gallagher, a city manager of the city of Jal, sent them crude text messages and asked for sex, KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports . Jal is a community of about 2,000 people near New Mexico's border with Texas.
Dadrianne White told the station that Gallagher repeatedly sent her lewd text messages for two years and demanded to see photos of her. White said Gallagher once told her that she "owed him" for helping her get out of jail.
"If I refused to send him a picture, he would bring up the fact that he got me out of jail," White said.
Gallagher threatened to send her back to jail if she didn't have sex with him, White said.
Asked about the allegations, Gallagher said he "was not aware" of making a threat to have her sent back to jail if she did not have sex with him.
He later told KOB-TV the text messages to White were "a joke."
Another female employee says Gallagher asked for sex at a motel room during an out-of-town training session. The Jal City Council later suspended Gallagher for that social media private message.
Lawmakers New Mexico and Colorado began revising their sexual misconduct policies last week, joining other legislatures that are facing questions about whether they are doing enough to deter predatory behavior and protect victims.
Majority Democrats in the New Mexico Senate on Saturday ousted one of their members - Sen. Michael Padilla - from a leadership post amid controversy over past sexual harassment allegations.
The second-term lawmaker from Albuquerque's South Valley, once a rising figure, withdrew this month from the lieutenant governor's race amid mounting concern over decade-old allegations that he harassed women at a prior job. Padilla has long denied the allegations dating from when he headed Albuquerque's 911 call center.
When he was sued about the accusations, Padilla did not answer questions about whether he had been accused of sexual harassment at previous jobs.
A group of women are circulating a petition demanding that Padilla resign his senate seat.

In August of 2017, Sunland Park City Council fired Gallagher, who worked as the city manager in the City at the same time he was working in Jal.

At the time, Gallagher told ABC-7 that during his 18 months on the job in Sunland Park, councilors asked him to do several things he called illegal. He refused to do them and would not give ABC-7 an explanation of what exactly he was asked to do.


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