Criminal Justice, Gold Dome, Original Report

Lt. Governor's parolee son now an absconder

Joaquin Garcia - credit: Colorado Department of Corrections
Joaquin Garcia – credit: Colorado Department of Corrections

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections confirms the parolee son of Lt. Joe Garcia, Joaquin Garcia, is now an absconder.

The DOC considers someone an absconder when the parolee, “has changed his/her place of residence without prior notification and approval of his/her community parole officer, has failed to report as directed, and whose whereabouts are unknown.”

Adding a twist to this story is the fact that Garcia had been living for a time in a carriage house apartment on Governor’s Mansion compound, as reported in March by 9News’ Whitney Wild.

DOC spokeswoman Adrienne Jacoboson tells Complete Colorado that Garcia was officially considered an absconder on October 5 of this year, and a bench warrant was issued the same day.

Joaquin was adopted at age three, but turned to a life of violence and drug abuse in his late teens and early twenties.

According to Wild’s report from March 5:

It all culminated in 2005, when he threatened a teenager with a handgun and stole a car. For that offense, he went to prison for seven years. Two years ago, Joaquin went in front of the parole board and convinced the members to let him out before his mandatory release date. It worked, thanks in part to his father’s testimony during the hearing.

The unique living arrangements stemmed in part from the fact that the Lt. Governor told the parole board that he would provide a place to stay for Joaquin. Although the Garcia family owned properties in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, the Lt. Governor was living in the Governor’s mansion.

In the video portion of the report, Wild asked the Lt. Governor, “More than five people on the parole board were either appointed or reappointed by your boss. Do you think that had any influence on the way the system treats (Joaquin)?”

“None,” the Lt. Governor replied. “I had no role in that. I don’t know those folks, they just know me as the parent of a young man who is getting out on parole.”

Wild’s report also stated that housing Joaquin at the mansion’s compound did not create any additional cost to taxpayers.

Complete Colorado asked the Governor’s office if Joaquin’s absconsion had any effect on the recent decision by Lt. Governor Garcia to resign his post. Kathy Green, spokeswoman for Governor Hickenlooper gave a one-word reply, “No.”

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