1999 re­port on SFPS of­fi­cial raises ques­tions

Gar­cia says he never told of­fi­cers that he had a co­caine prob­lem

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY ME­GAN BEN­NETT JOUR­NAL NORTH

SANTA FE — A nearly 20-year-old in­ci­dent re­port states that Santa Fe school board mem­ber, County Com­mis­sion can­di­date and long­time county em­ployee Rudy Gar­cia ad­mit­ted he had used co­caine as po­lice searched his of­fice and a county govern­ment ve­hi­cle for drugs.

In a brief in­ter­view with the Jour­nal on Fri­day, Gar­cia de­nied that he told of­fi­cers he had a co­caine prob­lem. “From my un­der­stand­ing, that was never told to them,” he said.

No charges re­sulted from Jan­uary 1999 po­lice searches, no drugs were found at the time, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

Lo­cal news re­ports from Fe­bru­ary 1999 in­di­cate that Gar­cia, who was 27, was placed on leave and even­tu­ally re­signed from his po­si­tion as the county’s land use ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Ac­cord­ing a Santa Fe Po­lice De­part­ment re­port

ob­tained by the Jour­nal via a pub­lic record re­quest, an of­fi­cer had re­ceived an anony­mous voice­mail from some­one who said they saw Gar­cia with a “large amount of co­caine” while us­ing a county ve­hi­cle.

Gar­cia al­lowed po­lice to search the ve­hi­cle and his county of­fice. No drugs were found, though the re­port states that a drug-sniff­ing dog “hit” spots in both the of­fice and the ve­hi­cle.

“Mr. Gar­cia ad­vised us that he had de­vel­oped a co­caine prob­lem and had last used co­caine the pre­vi­ous evening,” the re­port states. “While we were in Gar­cia’s of­fice, he be­gan to type a memo to the County Man­ager re­quest­ing as­sis­tance for a sub­stance abuse prob­lem that he had de­vel­oped. Gar­cia ad­vised us that his prob­lem was a re­sult of the stress he was un­der from his job.”

Gar­cia said Fri­day that he never saw the 1999 po­lice re­port, just the sub­se­quent news­pa­per ar­ti­cles. None of the ar­ti­cles from 1999 men­tion any ad­mis­sion of sub­stance abuse by Gar­cia.

Gar­cia noted that noth­ing was found dur­ing the po­lice searches. He also said he is fo­cused on his fu­ture and con­sid­ers him­self the most knowl­edge­able and “most ex­pe­ri­enced can­di­date” for County Com­mis­sion in his Dis­trict 3 race against in­de­pen­dent can­di­date Mike Anaya, a for­mer two-term com­mis­sioner.

“That was 20 years ago, in my past,” Gar­cia said. “Now I just want to fo­cus on the fu­ture and what the fu­ture of Rudy Gar­cia has.”

Ear­lier this week, the Jour­nal re­ported that, be­tween 1999 and 2008, Gar­cia was ar­rested seven times, was con­victed of two DWIs and spent 16 days in jail for the sec­ond drunken-driv­ing con­vic­tion. His had two other DWI cases that were dis­missed and ar­rests for an open con­tainer vi­o­la­tion and af­ter al­legedly try­ing to kick in the door of a woman’s home.

Gar­cia was ap­pointed to a va­cant po­si­tion on school board in De­cem­ber. Board pres­i­dent Steve Car­rillo said this week that the four board mem­bers who chose Gar­cia didn’t know about his ar­rest record.

Ac­cord­ing to a Jour­nal re­port from De­cem­ber 1999, Gar­cia was al­lowed af­ter the co­caine probe to re­turn to a pre­vi­ous job as a re­view spe­cial­ist in the county land use of­fice, “but county of­fi­cials said he failed a uri­nal­y­sis and was not hired.” It ap­pears he was later re­hired as a pol­icy an­a­lyst.

Also in the 1999 po­lice re­port, the re­port­ing of­fi­cer stated that Gar­cia had as­sured him in the months be­fore the searches of Gar­cia’s ve­hi­cle and of­fice that he had not been sell­ing co­caine. Gar­cia said “he was us­ing co­caine but was not sell­ing it,” the of­fi­cer wrote, adding that “Gar­cia fur­ther stated that he was not go­ing to use co­caine any­more.”

A Santa Fe school board agenda pub­lished Fri­day in­cludes con­sid­er­a­tion of a “Res­o­lu­tion Re­gard­ing School Board Can­di­date/Mem­ber Back­ground Checks” at a meet­ing Tues­day.

Rudy Gar­cia

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