UPDATE - ABC-7 was able to speak directly with District 3 Representative Cassandra Hernandez to discuss the internal audit and her fuel card spending in 2022.
ABC-7 asked the city representative if she was the only person to use her fuel card. "Has anyone in your family or any friends used your gas card, can you say today if just you are the only one?"
"Yes, I can confidently say I'm the only who uses it, in fact I have thousands of dollars in personal expenses that we used for our family, for our fuel expense," Hernandez answered.
After that quote aired on ABC-7 at 5, City Rep. Hernandez emailed the newsroom wanting to clarify her statement to express she would provide more information on the use of her gas card if given the opportunity. "As standard protocol, I must conduct a thorough evaluation of over 12 months of authorized transactions and review all relevant information before making any statements. This includes reviewing every transaction, expense, and time stamp to ensure accuracy and completeness. However, I have not yet been provided access to these reports by the City's Auditor and FOAC, which has hindered my ability to conduct a thorough evaluation." Hernandez wrote.
ABC-7 also asked City Rep. Hernandez about that social media post of her giving away gas cards earlier this week.
I am treating this issue the way it needs to be treated. The FOAC has jumped to conclusions and provided no due process to the person who's being accused." She said city council is "mistreating" the issue.
"We know that El Pasoans are busy and they can't follow all the all of the nuances behind city government. And so in order to increase the public's engagement, we felt, let's utilize our social media. Here's an opportunity to increase our viewership so that we can get them the facts that are important for city business," said Hernandez.
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso's City Council is reviewing the possibility of hiring outside council for the Financial Oversight & Audit Committee (FOAC). If approved, that outside council would review potential misuse of public resources.
This agenda item comes after the Chief Internal Auditor, Edmundo Calderon, presented FOAC with his findings on the spending of City Council members using taxpayer-funded fuel cards.
The audit found that District 3 Representative, Cassandra Hernandez, spent $6,691.49, during the 2022 calendar year. The data also showed that former District 6 Representative, Claudia Rodriguez, spent $5,293.94 in gas purchases.
Representative Hernandez has already paid back the city for her purchases, while also announcing a gas card giveaway on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.