Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Created: 12/15/2011 04:06:53 PM PST

FONTANA – Leticia Garcia quietly stepped aside as vice president of the Fontana Unified School District Board on Wednesday night, nominating longtime board member Gus Hawthorn.

Previous to that action, Hawthorn had nominated BarBara Chavez for a second term as the board’s president.

Both measures were unanimously approved.

“The board knows it has to come together and work together….as long as the board sticks together, we can survive all the bumps in the road,” Chavez said Thursday.

Garcia’s continuation as the board’s vice president had been questioned by several Fontana city officials – including Mayor Acquanetta Warren – after she revealed in October that she had been secretly married to a convicted murderer since 2002.

Jason Garcia, her husband, was released from the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, after 27 years in prison, for two counts of second-degree murder.

Board member Garcia met her future husband in 2001 while doing research for a college class on the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

After the marriage, Garcia said she told all but her closest friends and family members that she was divorced.

Following that revelation – which drew widespread media coverage – Warren and fellow council member Michael Tahan said they felt Garcia’s misrepresentation had put Fontana under a cloud.

Both council members said they were concerned about the message Garcia’s behavior was sending to young people.

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