By Dave Bryan

FONTANA (CBS) — Leticia Garcia campaigned for transparency while serving as vice president of the Fontana school board while concealing the fact that she was married to a convicted murderer in prison.

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Garcia went public with the information in October and the mayor of Fontana is joining residents in demanding that the embattled official resign.

Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren said the problem with Garcia’s disclosure was that it came too late. She said Garcia hid her marriage for years and told people she was divorced.

(credit: CBS)

“Just imagine, you’re running for a school board position you are asking 41,000 childrens’ parents to trust you in that role,” said Warren, adding, “And you’re saying ‘I’m divorced with four children’ — Nobody ever says when you say that, ‘Are you married with a man in prison?’…It was just as easy to tell the truth.”

The mayor has no official authority over the school board but she urged board members at a meeting Wednesday to find a way to remove Garcia from her position. The school board has reportedly consulted an attorney who found they have no legal authority to make Garcia step down, unless they amended their own rules.

Garcia said she didn’t lie about her marriage but it was a personal issue that she kept a secret. She said she felt it had no bearing on her race for school board since it had nothing to do with her position on education issues.

Her husband was released from prison in September after serving 27 years.

“I chose to just keep that with me and my family and friends,” Garcia said. “I wasn’t intentionally trying to dupe the voters or anything. I’m still the same person. I still have been fighting for social and educational justice.”

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Some officials think Garcia has set a bad example for the children in her district.

“I think she should resign,” City Councilman Michael Tahan. “She’s putting a bad image for Fontana and for our children. She’s not being a good role model for our kids.”

“I have my children in this school district — my son’s a first-grader — what do I tell him?”, Tahan said.

(credit: CBS)

Garcia said she has no intention of resigning, saying she did nothing wrong or illegal.

She remains resilient despite the fact that dozens of residents vehemently called for her to step down at a city council meeting Wednesday night.

“It’s a personal relationship. It doesn’t have anything to do with my job or how I perform it. And, again, when we sit in glass houses…I really think they should just stop.”

Mayor Warren said she doesn’t see how Garcia can continue serving on the school board.

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“This has nothing to do with the man she married. This has nothing to do with the legality of a paper. This is about being right. And, as an elected official, you’re held to a higher level,” Warren said.