EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- ABC-7 has obtained the document officially stating the findings of the City of El Paso's Ethics Review Commission's investigation into District 3 Representative Cassandra Hernandez's use of her taxpayer-funded fuel card. ABC-7 also has the official Letter of Reprimand issued to Hernandez as a result of the Commission's findings.
The commission held a hearing in July in which Hernandez and her husband, Jeremy Jordan, answered extensive questions about their use of the fuel card. The commission unanimously voted to reprimand Hernandez July 20.
"Based on the Finding of Fact as set forth above, the Commission concluded that Representative Cassandra Hernandez's actions regarding her use of the city issued fuel card did violate Sections 2.92.030 (1) and/or (7) of the Ethics Code," the Commission's Determination document states.
"The Commission voted 8 to 0 that a letter of reprimand shall be issued to the Respondent Representative Cassandra Hernandez regarding this violation," the document reads in part.
"The evidence presented to the Ethics Commission showed by clear and convincing evidence that you did use your position as a City Representative to secure unwarranted privileges for yourself, relatives or others," the Letter of Reprimand reads. "Moreover, the evidence showed that you did use the fuel card for your personal benefit and the benefit of others and therefore there was an intentional misuse of the city issued fuel card."
"You are therefore Reprimanded concerning the violations that were found and we respectfully request you to be mindful of the provisions of the Ethics Code," the letter goes on to state.
The investigation into Hernandez's fuel card use began when one of her constituents, George Zavala, filed an Ethics Complaint against her.
"The decision handed down by the Ethics Review Commission is deeply troubling, particularly in its potential application to ALL members of City Council," Representative Hernandez said in a statement July 21, a day after the commission's vote. "It appears that the Commission's reasoning could have far-reaching implications for everyone serving in the City Council. The basis for their reprimand was the issuance of a gas card to me by the City, in the absence of a clear guiding policy, a move which the Commission subsequently condemned."
Earlier in the year, an internal auditor found that Hernandez used her fuel card to purchase $6,700 worth of gas in 2022. The auditor found that Hernandez spent more than other city representatives, and that her usage "appears excessive." He also found that Hernandez allowed her husband to use the card. ABC-7 obtained surveillance video of Jordan using the card at a gas station. Hernandez repaid the city the $6,700 in June of 2023.