Breaking News: This afternoon at around 3:30, George Zavala filed an ethics complaint against Cassandra Hernandez. Hernandez has been under investigation for the use of her city-issued gasoline credit card. As we reported, on May 11, 2023, city council voted, six-to-one to hire an outside investigator to investigate the usage of the city-issued gasoline credit cards. Hernandez voted against investigating herself. During the city council meeting, it was revealed that a May 5 police investigation collected video evidence showing who was using the gasoline cards issued to former city council representative Claudia Rodriguez and current city representative Cassandra Hernandez.

According to the city’s investigation, Claudia Rodriguez spent $5,293.94 in taxpayer-funded gasoline and Hernandez spent another $6,691.49. Both far-surpassed the taxpayer-funded fuel expense of the other city representatives.

The police report added Jeremy Jordan to the individuals that police found used the gasoline card. In the case of Jordan, the card he used was issued to his wife, Cassandra Hernandez. Although video evidence was collected by police, the city has not released the videos to the public.

El Paso News filed an open records request asking for a copy of the video evidence. We have not heard back from the City at the time of this report. However, KVIA ran a report yesterday where the station says a copy of a video purporting to be the part of the evidence collected by the police was provided to them by an unknown individual. According to KVIA’s investigation, the video showed by KVIA reportedly shows Jeremy Jordan using the fuel credit card issued to Hernandez.

Previously KVIA asked Hernandez if she had ever allowed anyone else to use the city-issued credit card. Hernandez told KVIA on May 9 that she “confidently” says she is the only one that uses the card. However, yesterday she refused to answer KVIA’s questions about the video evidence showing the use of her card by Jeremy Jordan.

The Ethics Complaint

The ethics complaint filed by George Zavala today identifies the use of the gasoline card as violating city policy because the cards can be used by “authorized cardholders,” only. The use of Hernandez’ city-issued gasoline by Jeremy Jordan, according to the police report and the evidence disclosed by KVIA’s report would violate the city’s policy.

According to Zavala’s complaint, the use of Hernandez’ gasoline card violates the misuse of Hernandez’ “official” position to “improperly” receive “unwarranted privileges” for herself. In addition to the use of her gasoline card by Jordan, Zavala alleges that Hernandez violated city policy by improperly influencing government policy in which she has a financial interest. Zavala’s ethics complaint alleges that Hernandez improperly “publicly advocated against Proposition J” during the last election. Proposition J, which was adopted by voters, would have placed the city’s independent auditor directly under the city manager. According to the complaint, Hernandez was “under scrutiny for her gas purchases” and “knew that intensified scrutiny of her behavior could lead to financial consequences for her.”

The ethics complaint will now go to the city attorney’s office who will determine if it meets the statutory requirements to forward the complaint to the Ethic’s Commission.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as soon as more details become available.

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...

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