Ethics complaint against Rep. Annello over gas card use dismissed

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso Ethics Review Commission voted 5-3 late Tuesday night, Aug. 29, to dismiss the ethics complaint made against city Rep. Alexsandra Annello over use of a city-funded gas card.

The commission met on the issue most of the evening and voted to dismiss the complaint citing insufficient evidence.

The complaint had alleged that Annello allowed others to use her city-issued gas card during City Council meetings and that her husband had used the gas card.

The ethics commission voted to only look at three dates cited in the complaint, because the others fell beyond the panel’s two-year jurisdiction.

The woman who filed the complaint, Deborah Paz, compared Annello’s use of her gas card to Rep. Cassandra Hernandez.

As we reported the Ethics Commission decided that Hernandez violated city ethic guidelines with her use of her gas card and issued her a letter of reprimand.

“I don’t see any difference. And that’s why I’m here today, talking to a government body who could inform me properly as a citizen and someone who comes here concerned, wanting to understand city government and clarify why this is or why this isn’t similar to the last hearing,” Paz said.

Paz presented evidence to show that Annello used her city gas card when City Council was in session.

Annello said all of those meetings were virtual meetings but did say she had her husband fill up her car for her.

“In the past, he (husband) had used my fuel card,” said Annello, but added no one else has used her fuel card.

However, she says her husband is unable to drive long distances due to an accident he had in 2019 and would only fill up her car for her use.

“He was only able to travel less than a mile. The only time he was able to leave the home or have any independence was to go to the gas station to fill up my car. But at no point was he physically able to use the gas in that car,” Annello said.

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