Crime

Former Teacher Tamara Hofmann Made Deal With High School Officials to Keep Affair With Boy Quiet; He Later Killed Rival for Hofmann's Love

Documents in a lawsuit against the Arizona State Board of Education show that Marco de Niza High School officials made a deal with a former teacher to keep quiet about her student lover.

Tamara Hofmann was accused by her bosses at the Tempe school in 2007 of having sex with student Sixto Balbuena. But Marcos officials cut a deal with her in which they agreed not to tattle on her, Channel 5 (KPHO-TV) reports.

When Hofmann left that year to work at Chandler's El Dorado High School, officials from the new school called Marcos for references.

The officials didn't reveal the allegations to the new employer, the TV station reports.

Hofmann then started an affair with El Dorado student Samuel Valdivia, who was 18. Balbuena, home on leave from the Navy, caught his former lover and Valdivia together and stabbed his rival to death.

Valdivia's mother, Placida Maldonado, is suing the Board, Tempe Union High School District, the Arizona State Charter School Board, and the company that owns El Dorado High School, the Leona Group.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.