After work today, we dropped by City Hall to watch the proceedings of the Financial Oversight and Audit Committee (FOAC), and there we watched the Chief City Auditor, Edmundo Calderon, relate how City Rep. Hernandez and former City Rep. Rodriguez collectively purchased 3,403 gallons of gasoline in 2022, which is 63% of the total gasoline purchased by the City Council and Mayor in that year.

Calderon told FOAC that he began investigating after receiving an anonymous tip from a City employee on November 28, 2022 that Rodriguez was using City gas during her unsuccessful campaign for reelection, and this led to a full audit of gas purchases by City Council and the Mayor. Here are the salient facts from the resulting report:

1.  Hernandez purchased 1,944 gallons in 112 separate purchases, totaling $6,691. Notably, she filled up 13 times in June, 12 times in August, and 15 times in October.

2.  Hernandez purchased fuel 23 times on consecutive days; and in one instance, in September 2022, she fueled up three days in a row.

3.  The report concluded that Hernandez’ gas card was used to fuel “2 or more vehicles.”

4.  On January 3 of this year, Hernandez somehow purchased fuel while she was in executive session in City Hall. Apparently she has the magical ability to be in two places at one time, sending her avatar to run errands while her physical body is working at 300 N. Campbell Street. See Rep. Joe Molinar’s comments to KFOX14 today.

5.  Rodriguez purchased 1,459 gallons in 86 separate purchases, totaling $5,294. She purchased both regular and supreme unleaded, obviously for at least two different vehicles.

6.  Rodriguez’s gas purchases peaked toward the end of her election campaign, in November 2022, when she purchased gas every 2.78 days on average—again, both regular and supreme unleaded.

7.  Rodriguez purchased gas in Van Horn, Texas on two occasions: 14 gallons on May 22 and 19 gallons on August 11. We presume she was on official City business examining cows at someone’s ranch, or maybe she was doing another spot for Newsmax on undocumented migrants…

8.  Rodriguez purchased gas four times on consecutive days, and on November 28 she purchased gas twice on the same day: 15 gallons and then 21 gallons. Maybe she had to drive round-trip to Phoenix to get coffee and donuts for her staff.

9.  Rodriguez filled up her tank on her last day in office, on January 2, 2023. One for the road!

10.  The City Auditor admonished Rodriguez in 2020 for a gas purchase she made in Pecos, Texas, and so she already knew that such behavior is unlawful.

Amazingly, the El Paso Police Department declined to investigate this blatant abuse of City privileges, which could potentially be a felony under Title 8, Section 39.02(c)(4) of Texas law. Of course, in 2019 Hernandez’ spouse promoted the $413 million Public Safety Bond, which directly benefited the El Paso Police Department.

In our public comments before FOAC, we suggested that someone should invite the Texas Rangers and FBI to investigate:

We filled up our own tank today but unfortunately did not have a City gas card.

We thought about asking Gassandra Hernandez or Claudia “Fill’er up” Rodriguez if we could borrow theirs 😂.