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Lower Moreland Issues Statement on Arrested Parents

It was learned that a child attended Pine Road Elementary School illegally with a fake address provided by its parents.

The Lower Moreland School District has issued the following statement in response to an :

Lower Moreland Township School District has been cooperating with the Lower Moreland Township Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in their investigation and prosecution of theft of services charges against Hamlet and Olesia Garcia, who claimed residency in Lower Moreland Township in order to send their child to Pine Road Elementary School.

It is our understanding that Mr. and Mrs. Garcia have been arrested by the Lower Moreland Township Police Department for theft of services charges for falsely claiming residency within the Township while actually residing in the City of Philadelphia. 

This situation came to light when information was provided to the school district questioning the residency status of Mr. and Mrs. Garcia. The case was referred to Frank Colantonio, the District’s Residency Investigator, who concluded, based on his investigation, that in the district’s opinion the Garcia’s were not residents of the school district.

The results of this investigation were then turned over to the Lower Moreland Township Police Department who worked in conjunction with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office to pursue these charges.

The Lower Moreland Township School District takes all residency issues seriously.  The cost to educate a child in the District comes to $10,752.81 annually.  In addition, enrollment in the District determines whether additional teachers need to be hired and whether additional classroom space needs to be added.  These costs are borne by taxpayers within Lower Moreland Township.

Mister Y August 31, 2012 at 03:35 PM
....and was the property owner of whatever address they were using prosecuted as well???
mopo August 31, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The township should take a proactive approach to investigate if this is an isolated incident, and yes, any homeowner who allows them to use their address to receive US Mail should be prosecuted as well. We pay extremely high taxes in LM, so this should be a concern for anyone who lives this township.
Joe September 01, 2012 at 08:23 PM
This is like killing an ant w/ a sledgehammer! All the district had 2 do was send them a notice of intent 2 fine them or fine them or retroactively make them pay the amount LMTSD would charge someone to enroll w/o being a resident. Please, the amount of money just spent pursuing, investigating and prosecuting them is w/o merit and ridiculous. Lane Leckerman
Kerri Tippy Leckerman September 01, 2012 at 08:48 PM
seriously joe.... u are a resident.... do you really think it is o.k. for families to do that when you pay such high taxes and they get away without paying for going to the school.... it will set an example so no other idiots try to weasle their kids into the school... if they want them to go there...get a better job... and move yourself into the district and pay just like everyone else does that lives in l.m. !!!! really !!!!
Joe September 02, 2012 at 05:40 PM
As per Joe.... The punishment doesn't fit the crime. There are other solutions that could have been used to handle the situation. All you have to do is think of a better way. Be more flexible and not so fast to slam the hammer down. Again, more money was lost in the pursuit of justice. Now if they were warned and did not agree to set terms then maybe a fine and judgement but arrest!!!!! Pulease!
Swelldoggy September 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I agree with Joe and I do live in the township. My kids are out of school now. According to the story, the grandfather lives in the township and he is paying his taxes and his kids are grown. So somehow, I feel like if your immediate relative does live in LM and he is paying taxes, the child should be allowed to attend at maybe a reduced tuition or something. I moved here from Philly 8 years ago solely because of the school district and struggled. I feel for the child especially. It is a shame the lengths people have to go to for a chance at a decent education for their kids.
Swelldoggy September 02, 2012 at 08:45 PM
In the meantime there are politicians and bankers living high on the hog and milking the taxpayers' money and investments and not a dime is spent to arrest or convict them. How about spending time and money on regulating the banks?
Rick February 02, 2013 at 03:57 AM
How come the Garcia's family hasn't paid the school district yet? They keep mentioning that they are willing to pay back the school but haven't yet. This story and family does not add up and something is definitely shady. Also, how come there's no proof of them actually living at the residence? Why would the police township lie about them not living there? The truth will come out at the end.

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