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Garcia’s ex wife speaks about affair that led to illegal contract

Former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia’s former wife, who was married to him when he steered an expensive contract to his then mistress, said she’s hoping to close this chapter of her life.

“He’s brought much shame and embarrassment to the children. They have been hurt so emotionally by these events,” said Tami Tafolla, referring to the two children she and Garcia have together.

Tafolla said she found out about Garcia’s affair to Tracy Rose in 2009 and still tried to work it out. “Even after I found out about the affair with Tracy Rose, I stayed with him because I thought maybe it was best for our family.” She said she was suspicious of Garcia and Rose, who knew each other before Garcia’s move to El Paso in 2006. Tafolla said she became even more concerned when she saw Rose’s company was slated to receive a no-bid distrct contract for nearly $400,000.

Garcia has since pleaded guilty to illegally steering that contract and inflating it’s cost. “About a month ago, I did talk to Tracy Rose and she told me that she was allowed to keep all of the money. It’s wrong for her to be able to keep that money considering that’s federal money and taxpayer money,” Tafolla said.

She added Garcia made an effort to see his children only after he was indicted last fall. “He cared so little about myself and our children, it was all about him… He blames a lot of this on me. He says I talked to the FBI.”

Tafolla and Garcia were married for 15 years. She left her career as a principal to support his endeavors in Education. “I loved him. I deeply admired him. I thought he was the greatest educator ever. And it was very disheartening to find out all these things.”

Tafolla and Garcia began divorce proceedings in 2009. She said that when Garcia moved to El Paso in 2006, she stayed in Dallas some time trying to sell their home. According to Tafolla, Rose and Garcia were already in the midst of their affair at that time. She said Rose was traveling to El Paso to train teachers because she was working for a company called Voyager, which at the time, had entered into a contract with the district.

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