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His niece's telemarketing team was left behind to handle the disaster.
Two months after the trade show, Meja sent a letter to Weigt demanding that the tourism office pay the telemarketing team, records obtained from the office under the state public records law show.

"I hope this delay in payment has nothing to do with the poor attendance to [sic] October 25, 1993," Meja wrote.

The tourism office caved in to Meja's demand for payment, cutting a check for $1,715.18. The check was made out to his niece's company--which also employs Meja's son, Jorge Meja Jr.

@body:Commerce officials couldn't help but notice the strange activities occurring in Mexico City under their new director. So a memorandum was prepared and distributed.

"Your family members are not allowed to do work for or contract with your respective offices. This is clearly a conflict of interest which cannot occur," reads a November 22 memo issued by Deputy Commerce Director David Guthrie.

Once again, there is little doubt that Meja received the message. He confirmed he understood the policy in a letter to Dorothy Bigg. The letter was written January 31, about seven weeks after Meja had forced Victoria Guerra to leave the trade office.

"I now realize that as a matter of policy, I should not involve family members in providing services to the State," Meja wrote.

A few days later, Arizona's trade office in Mexico City was ready to award a contract for accounting services. Among other duties, the new accountants would be responsible for dealing with Mexican tax authorities.

A small accounting firm named CONFIE Corporativo Fiscal Empresarial was awarded the $200-per-month (plus expenses) contract on February 9.

Meja's wife is an employee of the firm.

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John Dougherty
Contact: John Dougherty