The El Paso Ethics Review Commission has set a date in November to hold it’s hearing to review the ethics complaint filed against former city representative Claudia Rodriguez. The complaint filed by Philip Laign on August 28, 2023, alleges that Rodriguez misused her city-issued gasoline card. The complaint stems from an audit by the city’s auditor after an anonymous tip was received at the city’s hotline.

Rodriguez, who lost her city council seat to Art Fierro on December 17, has been out of office since January 3. Nonetheless, Laign filed an ethics complaint against her for her use of the gasoline card during her time in office. Because the city’s Ethics Review Commission is limited on what it can issue if it finds for the complaint, it is unclear what the punitive outcome, if any, against Rodriguez would be. The Commission can issue a letter of reprimand, like it did against Cassandra Hernandez or it can issue a letter of notification, if the Commission finds that the alleged incident was “unintentional.” The Commission can also issue a letter of admonition.

The most severe punishment the Commission can issue is the letter of reprimand with the request that the city council vote to remove one of its members. Because Rodriguez is out of office, any adverse findings by the Commission cannot remove Rodriguez from office because she no longer holds office.

The Ethics Review Commission has set Rodriguez’ hearing for November 8 at 5:30 in the evening, according to a copy of the letter provided to El Paso News. The following day has been reserved should it be needed.

Rodriguez has until November 1 to submit exhibits and witnesses before the hearing.

Claudia Rodriguez did not provide El Paso News with a comment for this story when we reached by telephone.

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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...