Today under agenda item EX1 our City Council discussed a “Complaint against [an] elected official” with Frank Garza, the City’s outside counsel.
One must assume, given the rumors flying around everywhere, that the subject of discussion was City Rep. Henry Rivera of District 7 and his wife Dora Oaxaca.
According to Martin Paredes of El Paso News, Oaxaca is accused of gaining access to confidential files from a City computer, of accessing confidential information from Executive Sessions, and of impersonating her husband in her email correspondence with the City Attorney’s Office.
If this is true, there may be a violation of Section 33.02(b) of Texas law, which states that breach of computer security is a “state jail felony if the computer, computer network, or computer system is owned by the government or a critical infrastructure facility.”
Did Rep. Rivera knowingly grant his wife access or did she simply helped herself to confidential information?
Apparently there has already been an investigation by Human Resources and, if Paredes is correct, the findings were presented today in Executive Session.
INVESTIGATION OF RIVERA TO BE CONDUCTED “WITH A BROADENED SCOPE”
At the end of today’s meeting, City Council went into Executive Session to discuss the complaint and did not emerge for more than two hours.
When they came back to their seats, Rep. Molinar spoke at the 7:00:00 mark:
“Motion made, second and carried, that the City Council accepts the preliminary findings of the investigation and directs the City Manager to arrange for the conduct of further investigation with a broadened scope and that the attorney for the official be given the opportunity to provide further response.”
Rep. Cassandra Hernandez then announced she would vote “no” because she feels that no further investigation is necessary. (Once can understand why she is wary of investigations).
So the vote on the motion was 5-2, with Reps. Rivera and Hernandez voting “no” and Rep. Annello absent.
We expect it will be a long while before City Council is presented with more investigative findings.
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