EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso Interim City Manager Cary Westin has terminated the use of taxpayer-funded gas cards, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser confirmed to KTSM on Tuesday, July 18.
Leeser provided the following statement confirming the termination.
“As a result of a recent audit which showed inconsistencies in the use of the gas cards by some members of the City Council, Interim City Manager Cary Westin made the decision to terminate the use of gas cards by elected officials, consistent with management’s response to the audit. I fully support this decision and appreciate Col. Westin’s prompt attention to this matter.”
-Mayor Oscar Leeser
As KTSM has previously reported, an internal audit revealed Rep. Cassandra Hernandez and her husband used her city gas card in 2023.
As we reported, an internal audit found that in 2022 Hernandez purchased close to 35% of all the fuel purchased by the council in the calendar year.
The audit for 2023 shows that the percentage increased for January to April of 2023 was close to 40% of all the fuel purchased by the council.
As part of the audit, the internal auditor recommended to discontinue the use of gas cards by elected officials.
Westin sent KTSM the following statement:
“In response to the recent Internal Audit of the fuel card usage by Members of City Council, it is recommended eliminating the cards. In the management response to the audit, I recommended eliminating the fuel cards and initiating a policy or program to provide each Council Member a vehicle allowance, based on the existing staff vehicle allowance program. Staff has begun collecting fuel cards held by City Council Members and anticipate collecting all the cards by the end of the week.”