Last night on ABC-7 XTRA, Saul Saenz hosted Rep. Joe Molinar of District 4 and Adolfo Telles, who served on the City Ethics Commission, to discuss the abuse of City gas cards by Rep. “Gassandra” Hernandez and former City Rep. Claudia “Fill’er Up” Rodriguez.
As we learned from Edmundo Calderon, Chief Internal Auditor of the City, the two reps accounted for 62% of all gas purchases by the Mayor and City Council in 2022, purchasing a combined 3,403 gallons and spending $11,984.
Rodriguez filled up her car in towns as far away as Pecos, and someone used Hernandez’ gas card several times while she was seated in City Council or away on business. There were numerous instances of gas purchases on consecutive days.
You cannot make this stuff up.
Rep. Hernandez refused KVIA’s invitation to join Saenz in the studio, but KVIA did ask her in a separate interview to explain how her gas card was used while she was physically seated in City Council on January 3. Her reply was so evasive and dishonest that she all but admitted her guilt. Unfortunately this did not make into the video that KVIA posted online.
Totally unrepentant, she insisted she is the only one who “uses” her gas card, strategically speaking in the present tense in order to cover up her recent abuse.
Rep. Molinar was unrestrained in his disgust with Hernandez, naming section 39.02 of the Texas penal code (which makes such behavior a potential felony), citing her “theft”, “crime”, and “abuse of office.”
Mr. Tellez stated that the gas card “use is excessive. It’s abusive.” He also called it “illegal”, “atrocious”, “criminal” and an “abuse of power.”
When asked about the fact that Hernandez repaid the $6,691 she apparently owed, he replied: “To think that you can commit a crime and then give restitution and not be punished is wrong.”
The clincher came at the end of the show, when host Saul Saenz displayed his own gas card and declared: “This is my station issued gas card. If I gas up my personal car or abuse it, my boss would likely fire me!”
In the meantime, Cassandra Hernandez is still on City Council and neither she nor Claudia Lizette Rodriguez have any intention of admitting their wrongdoing.