New Mexico mayor sued by residents

[anvplayer video=”5169600″ station=”998122″]

CLOUDCROFT, N.M. – People in a southern New Mexico village are suing a state mayor, and a trustee, saying they can’t hold office because they don’t live in the area they represent.

The lawsuit was filed last summer, and it has been going back and forth ever since. But, the basis of the lawsuit says the state Constitution is clear– all elected officials have to live in the area they represent.

The lawsuit was filed by Thomas Taylor and Sue Wise – both listed as registered voters of Cloudcroft in the complaint.

The lawsuit goes on to say Mayor William Denney lives in Alamogordo, and trustee James Maynard lives in an unincorporated part of Otero County.

“According to the New Mexico Constitution a person that is holding an elected office has to live in the municipality that they are elected to. From what I understand from the lawsuit brought on by Tom Taylor, neither the mayor nor the trustee live in the municipality of Cloudcroft,” said Richard Welch, a Cloudcroft resident. 

But the mayor denies that accusation. 

“I am a resident of Cloudcroft. I never changed my voter registration, I’ve never voted anywhere else except for Cloudcroft, never had the intention to vote anyplace else, or live anyplace else. I’ll always come back, it’s home,” said Denney. 

So KOB 4 asked him where he was during the interview?

“Right now, I am in my wife’s house down in Alamogordo.”

Denney explained his wife works in Alamogordo and has family in town, so they bought a house down there in 2019, and he has been going back and forth since. 

Even before this lawsuit was filed some residents complained to Denney that he wasn’t in Cloudcroft enough

“I never thought it would get this far, I never truly moved out of my Cloudcroft house. I didn’t stay there nearly as much as I should have probably, but I did check all the legal parts to make sure I was legal, and I was there quite a bit,” said Denney. 

But the question of where he lives isn’t the only complaint against the mayor and trustee Maynard.

“This trustee has put in front of the trustee board for the village of Cloudcroft to pay his legal fees.” 

That request was on the village agenda for this month but as the meeting started, the mayor and trustee Maynard made a change.

“I would like to move out the consideration expenditure for legal fees. ‘Ok, we have a motion to approve the agenda by trustee Mynard as amended.’”

The mayor says they might make the request further on down the road but for now it’s off the table

On Sunday, KOB 4 reached out to trustee Maynard to see if he would explain his living situation, but he did not get back to us yet.