Dallas school board candidate accused over residency requirement

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Dallas

A candidate for the Dallas school board faces accusations she committed perjury and tampered with government documents.

Ruth Torres, a resident of District 4, filed a complaint Friday with the Dallas County district attorney’s office against runoff candidate Karla Garcia, the Dallas Morning News reported. Torres accuses the 22-year-old Garcia of submitting two applications for the office on the same day, making changes to the second document that reports a longer length of residency in the district.

Garcia graduated from the University of North Carolina less than a year ago. She previously told the News she didn’t forfeit her Texas residency when she went to that college – that she voted in North Carolina but never intended to stay in that state. Neither she nor her attorney could be reached by the newspaper for comment on Torres’ complaint.

“I even got my job offer a year before I graduated,” Garcia said in February. “I always intended to come back home and never paid in-state tuition there.”

The News reported that in her initial filing for the school board, Garcia said she had lived in Texas for seven months. That application was rejected because she must have lived in the district for at least a year to be eligible to run. Garcia submitted a second application the same day that said she had lived in the district for 15 years and seven months.

“Both are notarized government documents,” Torres told the newspaper. “You can’t have two of these filed on the same day with different dates and they’re both right. … That’s purposefully a fraudulent statement in order to get on the ballot.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Texas Election Law Opinion GSC-1 addresses this question. The absence for college means nothing.

    Tex. Elec. Code Ann. 1.015 (Vernon Supp. 2002). Whether a person is a resident depends on the “circumstances surrounding the person involved and largely depends upon the present intention of the individual.” Mills v. Bartlett, 377 S.W.2d 636, 637 (Tex. 1964). Volition, intention and action are all factors to be considered in determining residence. See id.; see also Slusher v. Streater, 896 S.W.2d 239, 243-44 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no writ). https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/elo/gsc1.pdf

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