mf-blood-15As if the Larry Romero scandal wasn’t enough to end the year with, there is another issue that has taken the back burner of public scrutiny. It is the UMC-El Paso Children’s Hospital merger that not only has already cost you money, but will likely cost you more well into the future. On one thing everyone agrees is, is that it was the board of the children’s that drove the children’s hospital into bankruptcy. I also believe we can all agree that the boards of University Medical Center (UMC) and the children’s hospital are the mechanism by which you are excessively taxed, as they are the gatekeepers to the decisions that end up costing you more money in the long run.

Since we can agree on that, then we should all be able to agree that those who serve on the boards should be the best the community has to offer. Then why is that Miguel Fernandez has been deemed the best that El Paso has to serve on both the UMC and children’s boards?

Public scrutiny requires that all aspects of an individual be identified and quantified to select the best from the best. Although, in the United States, the notion is that all are presumed innocent, the reality is that an arrest is an important aspect to keep in mind when selecting individuals to represent the interests of the taxpayers.

As you know, Miguel Fernandez was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge on September 17, 2015. At the time of the incident, Fernandez was already a member of the UMC board. Subsequently to his arrest he was appointed to the children’s hospital transitionary board.

Although presumed innocent, the fact remains that Miguel Fernandez is currently under criminal indictment. Is this really the best time to make this appointment?

I realize that many of you equate a DWI arrest as nothing more than a traffic violation. It is unfortunate that this mind set exists but it is what it is. Like all alleged crimes, there are degrees of severity. Even in speeding violations there are instances that speeding can result in a simple ticket to an actual arrest just based on the speed the driver was driving. Driving while intoxicated also has levels of severity.

In the State of Texas, driving while intoxicated is a crime when the blood alcohol content of the driver is 0.08% or above. When the blood alcohol content is greater than 0.15%, the offense becomes a “High-Bac aggravated DWI” even for a first-time offender. This level of blood alcohol makes a Class B misdemeanor into a Class A for a first time offender.

It is also very important to note that although the presumption of innocence is assumed, in the prosecution of driving while intoxicated, there are sobriety tests that are administered that makes the presumption of innocence almost moot, except for lawyerly manipulations. Scientific chemical analysis for blood concentration are proof that is factually correct and difficult to ignore.

In the case of Miguel Fernandez, the court record shows that Fernandez was arrested by an El Paso police officer, after the officer saw Fernandez speeding (48 on a 35) on North Mesa. After pulling over the 2015 BMW X5, the police officer noticed the “strong odor” of alcohol on Miguel Fernandez and performed a Standardized Field Sobriety test on him.

After failing the field sobriety test, the officer placed Fernandez under arrest and requested that he take a breathalyzer test. According to the criminal complaint, Fernandez refused to provide a breathalyzer and thus the officer requested a warrant for a blood alcohol test. The warrant was issued and Fernandez’ blood was tested.

As a result, Miguel Fernandez was charged with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.15%. In other words, aggravated DWI, under the State of Texas laws. Keep in mind that the blood alcohol content was determined by a chemical analysis that is normally hard to dispute on court, making the presumption of innocence highly suspect at best.

Although presumed innocent, is this really the type of individual that should making decisions on your behalf on how to spend your tax dollars at both UMC and the El Paso Children’s Hospital?

Or is this indicative of how corrupt the community is that this simple question isn’t even asked anymore?

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

5 replies on “Is Miguel Fernandez Really the Best This Community Has To Offer”

  1. Bottom of the barrell!!! How is it that ELP is scraping the bottom of the barrell for warm bodies to stick in these vital roles? Mothers against drunk driving should be outraged by this appointment. It is sickening. Thank you for writing about it.

  2. He’s no worse than the rest. Take a good look at the various appointees on all the boards. Resumes look good, but if you know them the question becomes “how in the heck did they selected”?

    Some of the appointments are political payback, mainly for the cavity searchers. Some of them are well known for talking a good game but nonproductive. The only skill exhibited is the ability to kiss up in public.

    Don’t believe, review EACH board and take time to learn about the appointments. You will recognize many of them.

  3. When you fist started writing about this guy, you seemed to have much more substance. I thought this guy would be prosecuted for murders, trafficking between Mexico and the US, Cartel involvement, money laundering, and I don’t see anything beyond a first DWI. Yes a DWI is bad, but has nothing to do with what you have been posting. He obmiouly did not crash or hurt anyone. Board members, The good thing that resulted out of all of the shenanigans from Children and UMC, is that we will continue with a Children’s hospital. From reading all of your postings it is obvious to me that you have not had a child treated at the local private hospitals that lack the resources to treat truly difficult diseases, or even emergencies that require special trauma care. All they do is take a look at kids and send them out of El Paso. Children’s is the only decent opportunity that we have for a chance at a decent hospital for our kids. Stop distracting people with your BS, and look at the positive things we can do with Children’s backed up UMC.

  4. Jeremy, this guy was also involved in some very questionable situations involving the city. Don’t minimize dwi whether it’s alcohol or drugs. People are killed or maimed.

    His actions come with a question about making decisions. The ends does not justify the means. A major reason for all the chaos in local government.

    I am not suggesting the guy be executed, but have him seek treatment and defer his appointment to the board until counseling is completed. I know at one time or another we all have used poor judgement.

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