Congressman calls for full prison sentence for former EPISD superintendent

Congressman calls for full prison sentence for former EPISD superintendent
The School Yard

POSTED: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 3:08pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 22, 2013 - 3:10pm

After NewsChannel 9 first reported Dr. Lorenzo Garcia's prison sentence was reduced, Congressman Beto O'Rourke is now calling for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to make him serve his full sentence.

KTSM first reported the sentence reduction Oct. 2, after checking BOP records.

Two weeks later, BOP spokesman Chris Burke said Garcia had completed the "Residential Drug Abuse Program" at USP Lewisburg which, under law, allows an early release.

This, however, is contrary to U.S. District Judge David Briones' sentencing recommendations made in October 2012, which asked for 40 months (3.5 years) in prison, and completion of the drug abuse program without a reduced sentence.

Garcia was tried on charges that he defrauded the government and EPISD through directing a contract to his mistress, and for spearheading a cheating scandal that earned him bonuses for improved standardized testing scores.

The scheme forced some students to be held back, promoted in grade, and even kicked out of school to improve those scores.

"These crimes rocked my community of El Paso, Texas to its core and distrust of the school district continues to this day," wrote O'Rourke in his letter to BOP Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr., dated Wednesday.

"I share my community's outrage that the BOP reduced Dr. Garcia's sentence in spite of Judge Briones' contrary recommendations," he wrote.

He is now asked for the BOP to reinstate Dr. Garcia's full sentence, which would have him released in October 2015 instead of November 1, 2014.

O'Rourke is also asking for an explanation about "why BOP disregarded Judge Briones' specific contrary recommendation and reduced Dr. Garcia's sentence."

To read Congressman O'Rourke's letter in full, click on the link below.

Letter to BOP on Garcia's early release.pdf66.44 KB

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