This story is a staff report from The Paper.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A former northern New Mexico mayor was convicted Thursday on two felony counts of public corruption.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set for ex-Las Vegas Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron. She faces up to 18 months in prison on each of the counts.

Tonita Gurule-Giron, former mayor of Las Vegas, N.M.

Gurule-Giron was accused of using her position to give her then-boyfriend city contracts in exchange for kickbacks. A jury found her guilty of one count of receiving illegal kickbacks and one count of ethics violations.

Gurule-Giron initially faced six felony charges. A judge threw out four of them, saying the attorney general’s office didn’t have sufficient evidence to proceed.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement Thursday that prosecuting public corruption is difficult “yet our office will always take appropriate action to ensure the public’s confidence in government is restored.”ADVERTISEMENThttps://ec236ce2a11905c716cae35ebe32451c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Gurule-Giron didn’t testify in the trial that started earlier this week. Her attorney, JoHanna Cox, told jurors in opening arguments that the only thing Gurule-Giron did wrong was to be in a bad relationship.

The boyfriend, Marvin Salazar, 53, faces multiple charges including offering or paying an illegal kickback and making or permitting a false public voucher. His attorney, Alan Maestas, declined to comment on the case earlier this week.

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This story is a staff report from The Paper.

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