Ex-West Texas Superintendent Admits to Fraud

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

EL PASO - A former El Paso schools superintendent has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges from a probe into alleged misuse of federal money intended for school programs.

Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts. He could receive up to 3.5 years in prison under his plea agreement. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14 in federal court in El Paso.

Prosecutors say the district paid $360,000 under a no-bid contract for simple math materials touted as "specialized data" to prepare students for high-stakes standardized testing. Prosecutors alleged Garcia didn't disclose his financial stake in the company and lied by saying in the 2006 proposal to trustees that the company was sole provider of the materials.

Authorities say Garcia also didn't disclose a personal relationship with the company's owner.

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