Erik Elken of KVIA aired yet another outstanding report on the abuse of financial privileges by members of City Council.

This time he investigated purchases made with City procurement cards (P-cards), which are essentially credit cards that “facilitate the payment of small dollar purchases.”

City policy prohibits their use for personal gain, and Article III, Sect. 52 of the Texas Constitution mandates that any expenditure of public funds must serve a public purpose and may not benefit private individuals. Public funds may not be used for gifts.

Analyzing recent City data obtained through an open records request, Elken shows that in 2022 the Council and City Manager’s office conducted 2,309 P-card transactions totaling $543,571.

334 of the 2,309 transactions, totaling $67,595, did not have a description in the description field of the required paperwork.


The most astonishing revelation in Elken’s report was his discovery that former City Rep. Rodriguez, who is already under fire for her excessive fuel purchases, spent $7,556.48 with her P-card in one day: October 13, 2022.

She made eight separate purchases, but seven of these happened at the same Walmart store, and five of the seven were slightly under $1,000. The other purchase was made at Target for $993.20. The purchases were as follows:

10/13/22   Target                  $993.20

10/13/22   Walmart  #2612  $714.03

10/13/22   Walmart  #2612  $997.66

10/13/22   Walmart #2612   $994.73

10/13/22   Walmart #2612   $997.66

10/13/22   Walmart #2612   $999.83

10/13/22   Walmart #2612   $996.67

10/13/22   Walmart #2612   $862.70


TOTAL                              $7,556.48

City policy stipulates that “a purchase should not be split to avoid the single transaction limit.”

Did Rodriguez ensure her purchases were under $1,000 each in order to avoid scrutiny?

The City imposes a transaction limit of $1,000 before permission must be obtained from Purchasing, and any transaction of $1,000 or more must be reported on a City Council agenda.

On October 13, the same date of the eight purchases, Rodriguez hosted a “Monster Mash” event in her District at which numerous costumes were distributed to children, but item 18 of the October 25 City Council agenda indicates that ZTEX Construction donated $4,000 for the event.

So how did she spend the $7,557 from her P-card? Did she pocket any of the money?

So far she has refused to comment.


Elken revealed that the largest single expenditure was made by Rep. Cassandra Hernandez at Food City for $3,400 in November, before Thanksgiving.

Hernandez’s Instagram reveals that she delivered at least 100 turkeys to her constituents by November 20, and item 11 of the November 8 agenda shows a donation of $5,000 from Sierra machinery that includes “turkeys for families in need during Thanksgiving.”

Turkeys at Food City were going for about $20 each, so 100 of them would cost around $2,000.

How were the $5,000 from Sierra machinery spent, and how did she spend the additional $3,400 (which do not appear on any City agenda)?


KVIA requested receipts for the 2022 P-card purchases in April and so far the City has refused to respond.

By law, the City has 10 days to respond to open records requests and their failure to comply is a serious violation of state law.

The deeper Elken digs, the more questions are raised.

You will not want to miss his reports at 6pm and 10pm today!