by Max Grossman
In its reporting on the City gas card scandal, KVIA has reminded our community why it is has the highest-rated local television news coverage.
Because its anchors and reporters are investigative journalists.
They do not uncritically repeat City and County news releases or focus obsessively on the latest murder or car accident, or waste their opening segment on a five-minute report on the weather.
KVIA has an able, well-trained team that takes the time to focus on content that is actually important, and they have the courage to take on government corruption.
Erik Elken, Stephanie Valle and Rosemary Montañez have aired one report after another on the City gas card scandal, digging deep into the issue and exposing inconsistencies and outright lies.
Last night they aired yet another outstanding report.
GEORGE ZAVALA FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST REP. “GASSANDRA” HERNANDEZ
Yesterday George Zavala, a District 3 resident, filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Hernandez alleging three separate violations of the City Ethics Ordinance.
The City Attorney’s Office has 20 days to forward Zavala’s complaint to the Ethics Review Commission, dismiss his complaint, or request from him additional information.
El Paso News published the full text of the complaint and all 12 exhibits.
Zavala told KVIA yesterday, “If we cannot trust our City representative, then who can you trust? […] Now we have City council members like Miss Hernandez taking advantage of her authority—which is the fuel card—of her privileges and extending it to other people with total disregard for her constituents.”
In their report last night, KVIA again showed the video footage of Jeremey Jordan, Hernandez’s husband, pumping 17 gallons of gas into his Toyota Tacoma pickup.
This follows her mendacious statement that she is the only one who uses her gas card.
Again, KVIA emphasized that the Office of the District Attorney “never declined” to investigate the gas card issue as an El Paso Police detective has claimed. The Police and City PIO refuse to comment.
MAYOR CLAIMS CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITOR WAS “PRESSURED”
During the May 11 Special Meeting of City Council, Mayor Leeser asked the Chief Internal Auditor, Edmundo Calderon, if any member of City staff or City Council had pressured or intimidated him about his audit on gas card and P-card usage.
Visibly concerned, Calderon responded repeatedly “I’d rather not answer.”
Last night, Leeser told Erik Elken of KVIA that since that meeting, Calderon went to him and told him that he was “pressured” to change his report!
The Mayor also stated that he knew Calderon had been pressured even before he asked him.
The Mayor went on to say that Calderon will “sooner or later” be “making some type of complaint because of the way he was treated.”
So now the gas card scandal is not just about abuse of City privileges and stealing public funds.
It is also about old-fashioned mafia-style corruption.