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El Paso City Representative reprimanded after being accused of allowing wife to supervise duties, access city resources

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso City Council voted 5-1 Monday to present a letter of reprimand to Representative for District 7 Henry Rivera.

Representative for District 4, Joe Molinar, told ABC-7 Rivera is accused of allowing his wife, Dora Oaxaca, to supervise and direct the day-to-day duties of a city employee. He is also accused of allowing Oaxaca to access city resources.

The executive session item was taken up in a city council meeting Monday. Only Rivera voted against the motion, while Representative for District 3, Cassandra Hernandez, abstained from voting.

Up until this point, the city has not released any information about this complaint. It has only been discussed in executive session, not open.

ABC-7 submitted several open records requests to the city seeking information about the complaint back in September. The city's outside counsel sought an opinion from the Texas Attorney General's Office.

A letter from the Texas Attorney General's Office to the city said the city was exempt from disclosure under various reasons, including potential civil and/or criminal litigation 'that might arise from this matter.' It is also claiming attorney-client privilege.

City spokesperson Laura Cruz-Acosta told ABC-7 the city could not comment on the complaint or vote against Rivera. She said the reasoning is because it was only discussed in executive session.

However, two city representatives did respond to ABC-7's request for comment.

“There was an investigation and I voted how I felt was appropriate," said Representative for District 2, Josh Acevedo. "It’s nothing personal."

“The investigation was completed and revealed that Representative Rivera was found to be in violation on two different issues. His wife was also found to be in violation… but because she is not a city employee, the city council does not have the authority to sanction her,” said Molinar.

ABC-7 also reached out to the rest of the city representatives, as well as Mayor Oscar Leeser, for comment. All of them either declined to comment, or did not respond in time for the publication of this article.

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Kerry Mannix


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