Mexico political boss denies secretary sex claims

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Photo - A sign promoting the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) reads in Spanish "Sign up! Your party needs you." outside a PRI office used for political training in Mexico City, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez, local political chief from Mexico's ruling party, the PRI, is denying local press reports that his office hired women to have sex with him by placing them on party payrolls as secretaries or receptionists. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A sign promoting the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) reads in Spanish "Sign up! Your party needs you." outside a PRI office used for political training in Mexico City, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez, local political chief from Mexico's ruling party, the PRI, is denying local press reports that his office hired women to have sex with him by placing them on party payrolls as secretaries or receptionists. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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MEXICO CITY (AP) — The local political chief in the capital for Mexico's ruling party is denying local press reports that his office hired women to have sex with him by placing them on party payrolls as secretaries or receptionists.

Most Mexican political parties pay their operating expenses with government money, making the allegations even more troubling. Mexican law limits individual campaign contributions to a very small amount, while providing generous funding for the day-to-day operations of parties between elections.

The reports involve Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez, the Mexico City leader of President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

Gutierrez said Wednesday that reports he recruited women for the positions through newspaper ads are false.

The MVS radio station said an undercover reporter recorded recruiters telling potential hires they would have to have sex with their boss.

The women had answered a newspaper ad for "women to work in government offices." The recruiter, identified only by her first name, Priscila, is heard telling recruits that "you will be put on the party payroll as secretaries or receptionists" at salaries of about $850 a month.

Gutierrez told MVS the report was "absolutely false." He did not respond to the specific allegations.

The PRI national office said in a statement that it was calling on the Mexico City attorney general's office to carry out "a rapid and exhaustive investigation" of the accusations, but did not say whether it planned to file a formal complaint that prosecutors would need to launch such a probe.

The party said Gutierrez had agreed to take a leave of absence from his local party post until the accusations are cleared up.

The PRI has made a big comeback nationwide since losing its 71-year hold on the presidency in 2000, regaining the nation's top post in 2012, but Mexico City remains a weak point for the centrist party. The capital's mayoralty has been held by the leftist Democratic Revolution Party since 1997.

Gutierrez, whose father built the family's political machine by organizing groups of trash pickers and trading their support for influence in the PRI, has represented one of the rougher sides of a party whose top members are usually educated at universities abroad. He presided over a weak and battered PRI that has usually run last in Mexico City elections in recent years.

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