"The day I signed . I had way too much to drink. It was after 5 p.m. and I signed it (the contracts) and I didn't know what I was signing," Sunland Park, N.M., Mayor Martin Resendiz wrote in response to questions from lawyers for the architectural design firm Synthesis+. "My sister had to pick me up."
The lawsuit claims the company is owed $1 million for work performed under the nine contracts, according to a report Thursday in the Albuquerque Journal. Sunland Park contends the contracts were not valid because they weren't approved by the City Council.
Resendiz, a former El Paso, Texas, police officer and Sunland Park municipal judge. He has been mayor since March 2008 and has said he plans to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.
Resendiz could not be reached Thursday morning but his office said it expected to issue a statement later in the day.
According to a transcript of Resendiz's June 2010 deposition by attorney Victor Poulos, Resendiz acknowledged signing the documents in May or June 2008 after several hours of drinking with Sythesis+ executives at Ardovino's Crossing, an Italian restaurant in Sunland Park. Among the executives present was architect Daniel Soltero.
"Again, this was after two or three hours of us drinking, not exactly the best time to do business, not exactly the best time to read over legal documents, which he (Soltero) did not portray at any time to be legal documents," Resendiz said according to a transcript of the deposition.
City Councilor Daniel Salinas, who was also deposed, said under oath he was at the restaurant meeting and was also inebriated.
Synthesis+ officials said the mayor signed the documents in July 2008 at the Sunland Park city hall and that the mayor was sober.
Poulos said it was the first time in his 33 years of practicing law that someone had acknowledged signing a contract while drunk.