The FBI says it has finished its investigation into alleged abuse of taxpayer-funded gas cards by two El Paso City Council members. According to a statement from the El Paso Field Office of the FBI:

The El Paso Field Office conducted a thorough investigation…and presented the comprehensive results and investigative findings to U.S. Attorney Office, Western District of Texas for their careful review.

That statement came from FBI head of Public Affairs Agent Jeanette Harper. Just last week, Agent Harper appeared on the Buzz Adams Morning Show to talk about, among other things, the FBI’s role in investigating public corruption cases. However, no specific corruption cases were referenced.

The Gas Card scandal came about after an internal audit done by the city in 2022. The audit found that two council members purchased THOUSANDS of more dollars of gas than their peers on the city council. Former District Rep. Claudia Rodriguez and current District 3 Rep. Cassandra Hernandez were the two members specified in the audit.

The audit also pointed out what it called “deficiencies” in the city’s policy about gas cards.

Here’s what we believe the deficiencies are: for city employees the rules are very specific that gas cards can ONLY be used while conducting city business while using city owned vehicles.

The policy doesn’t have ANY such directives when it comes to City Council members. Meaning, as an El Paso Police Department investigation concluded, no policies were broken because there WAS NO policy to break. In other words, when it came to the taxpayer funded gas cards there simply were no rules on how council members could use their cards, how much they could charge or which vehicles the gas card could be used on.

Based on the outsized charges by Rep. Hernandez and former Rep. Rodriguez, it’s hard to imagine that they weren’t using the cards for free gas for multiple vehicles.

The city reps in question deny any wrongdoing and, technically, they’re probably right. Shady and unethical, sure. Criminal? Probably not. Because there was no rule, the sky’s the limit for some people (see “Clarence Thomas Gift Scandal” here (LINK: ).

Max Grossman, UTEP professor and self-styled city watch-dog will join us tomorrow to discuss the latest developments in this case. Max has tenaciously been covering this story since it first broke and he believes there COULD and WILL be state charges once the report hits US Attorney Jamie Esparza’s desk.

25 Small Local Businesses That El Paso Loves to Support

We've certainly seen the love be felt for small businesses in El Paso. While we can't post the literal HUNDREDS of suggestions we got online, we WILL post 25 of them here for you to enjoy.

Gallery Credit: Daniel Paulus

More From KLAQ El Paso