Leticia Garcia, Fontana Schools Trustee Whose Marriage to Fatal Shooter of Santa Anans was Exposed, Clashes with Chief Over Campus Rifles
School board member Leticia Garcia is reportedly "appalled" her Fontana Unified School District police chief spent about $14,000 to buy 14 high-performance Colt rifles to thwart potential school shooters.
Does that trustee's name ring a bell?
Perhaps it's from our 2011 report on Garcia failing to disclose to voters, parents and school officials her secret marriage to a former gang member who was in prison for the fatal shootings of two 21-year-old men in Santa Ana in 1984.
In what was my first story involving Fontana schools since covering that city and school district as a daily beat reporter (and short-time "Fontucky" resident) in the 1980s, I'd pointed Navel Gazers to a report in my old home the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (before it was the IVDP): that the trustee decided it was time to disclose her marriage to Jason Garcia after his release from 27 years behind bars for the Sept. 8, 1984, slayings of Anthony Silerio and Frank Villa.
Jason Garcia was 16 and a member of the Diamond Street gang of Los Angeles at the time of the shootings, which followed Silerio, Villa and other F Troop gang members chasing Diamond Street members for cruising through the Santa Ana gang's turf. The former Leticia Chavez met Garcia while doing criminology research in prison.
As that report disclosed, compounding the controversy was Leticia Garcia writing on school board campaign filing documents that she was a divorced mother of four when she was still married to the inmate, as well as her romantic relationship with San Bernardino attorney and Democratic Party insider Tim Prince while Jason Garcia was still locked up. Prince claimed Leticia told him she was divorced before their affair ended in May 2011.
The latest controversy surrounds Fontana schools police chief Billy Green buying the weapons and ordering his officers to train on them. Green claims he ordered the Colts in October, before the Newtown, Conn., school shootings that have shocked a nation and sparked a debate over gun control and arming school security officers.
"I am appalled that the superintendent would arbitrarily and unilaterally make a policy decision to arm Fontana school police with high powered rifles," Garcia reportedly told KTLA/Channel 5 News. "I do not think there is ever a need for this kind of arms on our middle and high school campuses."
Green counters in the same report that he outlined the rifle program in a memo to the school board in December, when he also disclosed the weapons would be kept behind lock and key/ The chief maintains he heard no board or administrator opposition to the program until now.
"Not once throughout the course of this has [Garcia] reached out to me to find out about why this is needed," Green reportedly tells KTLA.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts