During today’s special session, our City Council heard Chief City Auditor Edmundo Calderon present the same report he presented to FOAC one week ago, detailing the excessive gas purchases by City Rep. “Gassandra” Hernandez and Claudia “Fill’er Up” Rodriguez, and the fact that someone used Hernandez’ gas card on several occasions while she was seated in City Council.

In addition to Calderon’s audit, we also learned about a police report that reveals even more details. Someone used Hernandez’ gas card twice while she was in Vancouver. In addition, video footage from gas stations captured a male using her gas card on two separate occasions. Rodriguez filled up in Fort Stockton, Pecos and twice in Van Horn.

The two reps accounted for 63% of all fuel purchases in 2022 of the Mayor and entire City Council: $11,985.43 (3,403 gallons).

17 citizens spoke at public comment, including myself.

Shortly afterwards, the City Council retired into executive session for about an hour and a half in order to consult with legal counsel.

When they reemerged, the Mayor announced that the City would hire outside attorney Frank Garza “to return with options for an independent investigation” and “to direct the Chief Internal Auditor to complete his investigation from previous years and the current year.”

Thus the Auditor will search for irregularities going back several years, but the number of years was not specified.

The resulting vote was 6-1 with Hernandez voting nay and Salcido absent. The motion was made by Rep. Annello and seconded by Rep. Fierro.

The bottom line is that Hernandez and Rodriguez are in real trouble and they know it. They should stop talking to the media and issuing press releases and hire attorneys to represent them.

Adam Powell of the El Paso Times already published a thorough report, and so did Jamel Valencia of KFOX14and Elida S. Perez of El Paso Matters. There is a report from KVIA pending.