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Las Cruces Artist Fighting To Keep His Home

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Las Cruces Artist George Mendoza went Blind at age 15, and since then has competed running in the Olympics for the Physically Disabled, written books, and become an internationally known artist. He is now fighting to keep his home.

George Mendoza has been living with in his home since the 1970’s, first with his mother, and then with his own family.  He says while his mother was fighting dementia, her family had her sign a power of attorney removing him from her estate. That has led to a years long battle to keep his house.

Mendoza says the power of attorney is falsely notarized, and a letter from the Secretary of State’s Office says the notary is not registered with the state. After his mother died, a probate judge offered him a personal representative deed to his home.

“It’s taken me 8 years, 50 thousand dollars plus to fight for my own house and art studio,” Mendoza said. “That my mom gave to me as a life estate. Now, after my mom died, I got a death certificate from the state, and I went to the probate judge. Knowing the whole thing about the case she gave me the house, because there was no will at the time, we knew that there was some problems with the power of attorney, and I was granted personal representative and deed to the property at 1830 Baldwin.”

Mendoza says he pays the property tax and insurance on the property, which has no mortgage.

He is now hoping to warn others to make sure other people with disabilities aren’t taken advantage of.

“It’s an emotional thing for me,” Mendoza said. “I have been in two world Olympics, 4 films, 2 best-selling books, I felt the love the love of the whole world, especially the community here for me, and yet I think the court system, the police, the legal system, my family, my families friends that were filing these charges against me, thought I was blind stupid and couldn’t read.”

Mendoza says he plans to continue to fight to make sure he can stay in his home.

“I did it for mom,” Mendoza said. “I know she would want me to stay here. Her thing was always you’ve got to have a rack to put your hat on.”

According to Judge Manuel Arrieta’s Office, Mendoza’s case was vacated and rescheduled for December 21st because the judge was ill.
 

Samantha Sonner was a multimedia reporter for KRWG- TV/FM.