Brownsville fire chief allegedly withdrew thousands from account he oversaw

Local News
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The Brownsville Firefighters Association continues to investigate how about $8,000 went missing from an account during a two-year period.

The Brownsville Firefighters Association continues to investigate how about $8,000 went missing from an account during a two-year period.

Brownsville Firefighters Association president Jorge Lerma claims current Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo allegedly withdrew about $8,000 from the associations’ Political Action Committee account when Elizondo was president from Jan. 2014 to May 2016.

“We just started looking at some expenditures, some that were questionable– like for instance ATM withdrawals, checks that were written for reimbursements, but with no information as to what or where those funds went,” Lerma said.

Lerma says since he took the reins of the association back in March, he’s tried to make sure everything is done by the books. So, when the withdrawals raised a red flag, he reached out to Elizondo in May to try and get answers.

“To identify those expenditures and to identify the PAC committee that made the decisions for these expenditures and we, to this day, we haven’t gotten an answer,” said Lerma.

Elizondo initially told CBS 4 News he would be available for comment on this story, but has not returned our calls.

“He had exclusive control of the account,” said Lerma.

When Lerma investigated further into the case, he discovered documents from the Texas Ethics Commission which, he says, left him in shock.

“We found a document that suggests that he wasn’t even– shouldn’t have been allowed to be handling PAC funds, and we do have a document that indicates that back in 2010,” Lerma said. “We just weren’t advised or aware of it. He didn’t make the association aware of it.”

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz released the following statement to CBS 4 News:

“I can confirm that the DA’s office has been asked by the Brownsville Police Department to take over the investigation of the alleged case on Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo.”

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