Official back at work

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By David Giuliani

City Utilities Director Ken Garcia, who is facing a felony charge in connection with a bar fight last week, is back on the job.

Garcia, 44, was placed on paid administrative leave last week after city police responded to a fight at Legers bar late the night of April 13.

According to police, witnesses reported that Garcia struck another bar patron with a beer bottle, and the two men fell into a booth while Garcia continued to hit the other man.

The next day, Garcia, who has served with the city for a little more than a year, was charged with a felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

“Yes, we are concerned with the charge that was filed,”  City Attorney Dave Romero said. “We will continue to monitor this situation.”

But he said a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

He said City Manager Timothy Dodge followed city ordinances and policies in bringing Garcia back to work. He said the alleged altercation took place outside of Garcia’s work hours and work environment and it had nothing to do with city business.

Romero said the city has little control over a situation involving an employee who faces criminal charges, until there is a conviction.

Garcia didn’t return a call for comment.