There was as of Aug. 20 no new information about the criminal probes into two recent traffic collisions involving Calexico City Council Member Rosie Arreola Fernandez, who emphatically declined further comment about her legal troubles.
Meanwhile, rumors of recall efforts swirled about town even as city Mayor Bill Hodge said Fernandez was expected to attend her first council meeting in about two months on Sept. 4.
The council, which normally meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, is dark in August.
Contacted by this newspaper by text message on Aug. 20, Fernandez was asked if she had further comment about her situation.
“No comment at this time!” she texted.
Asked if there had been any developments on her pending court cases, she texted, “No news!”
Lastly, Fernandez was asked whether she would provide the name of her attorney and give permission to speak to that attorney.
She responded, “No!”
The embattled politician had previously spoken openly with this newspaper about the two cases and even issued an apology for her actions.
Fernandez is suspected of driving her car off a Calexico street on May 5 and striking a sign and a parked car before driving off. Calexico police sent a report on the matter to the county District Attorney’s Office, which declared a conflict of interest and referred it to the state Attorney General’s office for possible prosecution.
Reached Aug. 20, the Attorney General’s press office stated in an email no court date has been set in that case. A check of the Imperial County Superior Court calendar through Sept. 4 also revealed no pending court appearances for Fernandez.
In the second case, Fernandez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in the early morning hours of July 6 after the car she was driving struck a trailer pulled by a pickup on Highway 111 east of Heber.
The matter is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. A report had not reached the D.A.’s office as of Aug. 14, Assistant District Attorney Deborah Owen reported. She did not immediately reply to an Aug. 20 request for an update.
Owen has said the D.A.’s office would also declare a conflict of interest in the July 6 matter and refer it to state prosecutors. Fernandez assisted D.A. Gilbert Otero in his 2018 re-election bid.
If Fernandez does attend the Sept. 4 council meeting it will be her first since her July 6 arrest.
Hodge said Fernandez recently contacted “the city” to say “she has all intentions of attending the Sept. 4 meeting” and that “she is going to give a statement and speak to the public.”
Of a potential recall effort, Hodge said he continues to hear of unconfirmed reports but that the city has received no official notice.