Former City Representative Claudia Rodriguez and current Rep. (and candidate for mayor) Cassandra Hernandez will NOT face any criminal charges over their use of city-issued gas cards.

Concluding their investigation, the El Paso Police Department said neither of the representatives did anything that would meet the criteria for a criminal offense.

A report from EPPD says they believe the overuse of the gas cards…was because the city didn’t tell any of the city reps how much they could spend, or how many vehicles the cards could be used for.

The reports states, “The issuers of the fuel cards failed to educate and set parameters on the use of the fuel cards, therefore fuel spending ceilings were not in place”.

This is essentially what Cassandra Hernandez has told us since the beginning of this controversy.  There was never a limit on either the amount put on the cards or for which vehicles the card could be used.

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The Police report notes that, “the amounts…appear to be excessive in comparison to other Representative’s usage, the fuel cards were used as denoted”.

The amounts charged by Representatives Rodriguez and Hernandez were higher than the rep who came in THIRD on the internal audit. But, by 1 to 2 thousand dollars; not tens of thousands of dollars one would expect from an out-and-out scam.

I get that some El Pasoans feel like Claudia and Cassandra “stole” money or were “greedy”. Look at it this way: if the City of El Paso told us we could all go to Wal-Mart with city credit cards and buy whatever we wanted…without any parameters…some people would spend modestly and others would just go nuts. What’s for sure is that somebody would come in “first”.  It’s the same idea, but just with a group of nine (eight representatives plus the mayor).

We should expect our city government, not just councilmembers, to be more transparent and treat the taxpayers money with more respect than to just pass out blank checks.

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