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City of Sunland Park official accused of extortion

Updated: Friday, July 19 2013, 09:46 PM MDT

By: Bill Melugin

EL PASO, Texas --

Victor Diaz, the Sunland Park director of public works, is accused of extorting multiple city volunteers.

One of those volunteers, a woman named Guadalupe Quiroz, contacted KFOX14 to bring light to the issue.

Quiroz accused Diaz of attempting to squeeze money from her and another woman while they were doing volunteer work for the city.

Quiroz is a single mother with three children who volunteers 86 hours per month for the city of Sunland Park. In return, she receives $371 per month in cash assistance, but she told KFOX14 Diaz would charge her $40 to sign off on her volunteer hours.

"Victor Diaz charged us $40 per month, just because we were doing our hours there. He said that he was helping us so we had to help him," Quiroz said. "He was constantly asking for the money. On April 4, I decided to report it to New Mexico Public Works."

According to a police report, Diaz told the women, "If you can't help me, I can't help you," and said he needed the money to pay personal bills.

Quiroz told KFOX14 she never paid Diaz, but other volunteers did.

"I'm a single mom, I have three little kids and all the money that I get is for them, and I live by myself, so I decided not to give him the money because I couldn't," Quiroz said. "I told him I wasn't going to give him anything, even though he was asking for it, I just wanted my hours and that's it."

KFOX14 stopped by Diaz's house on Friday for a comment, but his front gate was locked shut.

Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea told KFOX14 a thorough investigation has been launched.

"As of right now, we have received the formal complaint, through my office, and we have started an investigation, and we're doing a thorough investigation into the accusations," Perea said.

Perea told KFOX14 Diaz has been placed on administrative leave with pay, and police have charged him with three counts of extortion.

"Action has been taken, it's multi-dimensional, and there's a lot that has to do with this investigation. These are very serious accusations, and we're going to be very thorough in making sure the information is 100 percent correct," Perea said.

"It's very frustrating, because he works for the community, and I don't think that's fair, he did extortion to me, I believe he's going to do extortion to everybody else," Quiroz said. "I just want him to get discharged from his job, because that's not fair for the community, he did it to me, he's going to do it to everybody else."

City of Sunland Park official accused of extortion

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