Local authorities push to keep Lorenzo Garcia in jail
POSTED: Monday, December 9, 2013 - 5:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 10:27am
EL PASO (KTSM) — Former EPISD’s superintendent Lorenzo Garcia was convicted last year of leading one of the most controversial corruption scandals in El Paso.
The scheme kicked students out of school all in order to raise the district's test scores which gave Garcia thousands of dollars in bonuses.
But even though he was convicted and sentenced to 3 and half years in prison. He may only serve two years.
"He defrauded the taxpayers of the school district and really abused the public trust so it's a very significant issue for this community so we were very surprised that the bureau reduced his prison term by almost a third," Congressman Beto O’Rourke said.
After Newschannel 9 broke the news Congressman O’Rourke contacted the Federal Bureau of Prisons to demand an explanation.
O’Rourke says that answer never came.
"At the minimum the bureau of prisons is showing a lack of disrespect for this community our priority and the very significant crimes that were committed here." O’Rourke added.
EPISD’s board of manager’s president Dee Margo says Garcia’s sentence reduction is upsetting and unfair.
"Garcia needs to pay the price the damage that was inflicted upon the student's first and the district second is significant it's why we still have an ongoing FBI investigation," Margo said.
Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke stated in October that the sentence was reduced because Garcia enrolled in a "residential drug abuse program" which under law allows an early release, even though judge David Briones specifically recommended he not be let out early.
Dee Margo says the district might now consider doing something about it.
"I guess you call it a friend of the court brief type letter or whatever if this goes to the parole people or whatever that we could do, we might consider that," Margo concluded.
Congressman Beto O’Rourke said his office will continue in the effort to make sure Garcia serves his sentence. BOP’s website indicates that Garcia’s release date is scheduled for November 1st of next year.