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El Paso City attorney believes there is a law enforcement investigation into taxpayer-funded gas cards

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- During the City’s Financial Oversight and Audit Committee meeting Wednesday, ABC-7 learned from City Attorney Karla Nieman that an investigation may be ongoing into representatives' gas card usage, conducted by an external law enforcement agency.

FOAC members presented the new numbers on gas card usage from the first four months of this year in the new Internal Audit report.

Those numbers showed that District 3 Representative, Cassandra Hernandez, accounted for nearly 40% of the gasoline purchased using taxpayer-funded cards by El Paso City Council and the Mayor's Office from January 1, 2023 through April 30, 2023.

On May 8, 2023, KVIA submitted an open records request seeking more information about the Police Report on the matter, including surveillance video that was part of the investigation.

On May 23, 2023, the city attorney's office told us they were "getting started on the e-mail search and redactions on the videos."

A week later, ABC-7 reached back out on May 30, with no response and sent another follow up to the City Attorney and the Mayor's Office Tuesday.

When members of FOAC asked why surveillance video has not been made public, City attorney, Karla Nieman said they have reason to believe there's an ongoing law enforcement investigation, aside from the police department, and they are trying to clarify that before releasing the records.

After the meeting, ABC-7 received a response from the City attorney's office.

It was a copy of the letter they sent to the State's Attorney general's office asking to withhold videos saying it's under investigation, therefore it doesn't have to be released.

Last week ABC-7 asked local El Paso FBI if there was an ongoing investigation into the gas card use.

They responded with “Per DOJ policy, the FBI can not confirm or deny the existence of FBI investigations.”

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Brianna Perez


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