Attorney general demands school board member step down
October 23, 2019 06:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico's attorney general notified a member of the Questa School Board that he must immediately resign his seat.
A report from 4 Investigates revealed that Ellis Garcia is a convicted felon.
He was charged and convicted for his role in an arson case in Taos County the early 1990s.
“There is no school board member in the state of nm that can serve if they have a felony on their record,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “So, he has to resign.”
Garcia, a veteran, believes he paid his debts to society.
“I've had a lot of supporters who have come out to say, they support me,” he said.
However, Balderas said there is no flexibility in the law.
“We have to enforce the law, and public schools are a place where our priorities are to educate children and we need to make sure we have individuals who have experience in being fiscal stewards and I believe the legislature doesn't want anyone with a felony on the record,” Balderas said.
Garcia has 14 days to resign. If he wants to challenge the attorney general, he will have to take this issue to court and judge will rule on it.
The Questa school board is mired in controversy.
An independent investigator found that board member Tammy Jaramillo bribed Garcia for his vote to keep a charter school open.
According to the investigator, Jaramillo bribed Garcia with money and offered to use her political connections to persuade Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to pardon Garcia of his conviction
Jaramillo denied bribing Garcia.
Created: October 23, 2019 06:16 PM
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