1999 report on SFPS official raises questions
Garcia says he never told officers that he had a cocaine problem
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.