by Max Grossman
Adam Powell of the El Paso Times just published an excellent report on Rep. Cassandra Hernandez’s refusal to accept her Letter of Reprimand from the Ethics Review Commission for abusing her City gas card privileges.
The Letter affirms that Hernandez used her position “to secure unwarranted privileges for [herself], relatives or others” and that the misuse was “intentional.”
Powell learned that Hernandez’s attorney Felix Valenzuela is now demanding that City officials “reconsider [their] decision and dismiss the complaint.”
Valenzuela claims to possess “newly discovered evidence” that the Chair of the Ethics Review Commission, Casey Williams, should have recused himself from the deliberations even though he was cleared of any possible conflict of interest by City Attorney Karla Nieman and outside counsel Frank Garza.
Williams reminded Powell that he was unanimously appointed to the Commission and twice named Chairman without any objection from Hernandez.
So apparently Hernandez’s purchase in 2022 of enough taxpayer-funded fuel to drive round-trip from El Paso to New York City nine times will remain in the news for the foreseeable future.
According to City Attorney Nieman, outside law enforcement, presumably the FBI and/or Texas Rangers, is investigating the misuse of gas cards, and Rep. Brian Kennedy has noted that the Internal Revenue Service is also involved.
Unless she is recalled or removed from office, Hernandez will remain District 3 Representative until the end of her term, which is January 7, 2025.