County housing director reprimanded for improper use of credit card months before she resigned

Tammye Trevino acknowledged failure to follow policies after audit uncovered ‘concerning information’ about credit card transactions

Records show former HABC director Tammye Trevino was reprimanded months before she resigned.
Records show former HABC director Tammye Trevino was reprimanded months before she resigned. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Months before resigning as director of the Housing Authority of Bexar County, Tammye Trevino received a formal reprimand for repeated improper use of an agency credit card, according to records obtained this week by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Trevino, who stepped down early this year following a rocky three plus years leading the agency, was handed the reprimand in August, after an audit revealed ‘concerning information’ about HABC’s credit card transactions.

The reprimand was signed by Trevino and HABC’s Board of Commissioners.

Last year, an audit of HABC uncovered dozens of questionable expenditures, records show.

A more detailed follow-up investigation by the audit firm identified 24 purchases that did not have supporting documents and numerous transactions that appeared to be for prohibited purposes, records show.

The questionable purchases included $160 AirPods bought at a Best Buy in July 2019. The wireless earbuds were labeled in records as “AirPods - Exec. Dir.”

The follow-up audit also listed a series of payments made to a real estate institute as expenditures that did not have a clearly evident purpose.

While HABC has a real estate and development wing, Trevino herself is a licensed real estate agent who did work in that field outside and separate from her duties as executive director, multiple sources said.

Trevino, according to the follow-up audit, also reimbursed HABC for more than $100 for gift shop purchases made during an August 2019 work conference in Galveston that Trevino attended.

The reimbursements were made in late January 2020, more than five months after the trip ended, records show.

“Despite knowing about several unsupported/unjustified credit card expenditures at or near the time you made them, you delayed correcting the discrepancies for extended periods, sometimes for months,” the signed reprimand states.

Trevino did not respond to a request for comment left at her last known address.

Other issues had surfaced during Trevino’s 40-month tenure in charge of the county’s housing agency.

‘Very frustrating’: Renters who sought help from Bexar County describe disorganized process

A Defenders investigation in late October found that only 17% of people who had applied to the county’s multi-million dollar Temporary Rental Assistance Measure (TRAM) had received funds.

The program was put in place in early 2020 to help Bexar County residents whose incomes were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

County records provided to the Defenders last fall included complaints from applicants who said they had to repeatedly submit information already provided to the county, had difficulty reaching staff to check on the status of their application and left repeated messages and never heard back.

Trevino, at the time, called the program rushed and blamed many of the issues on county staff being forced to implement it within a span of four to five weeks.

A 2018 Defenders investigation found that Trevino was overpaid thousands of dollars per paycheck and took more than two months to notice the accounting error.

Trevino later paid $9,789.95 back to the agency, records show.

“I was in the middle of a move, and so I was living out of boxes. So it did take awhile for me to realize I had more money in the bank than I probably should have,” said Trevino during an interview at the time.

HABC officials said the overpayments were exacerbated because the agency’s then-finance director refused to amend Trevino’s pay unless directed to by the board.

The revelation of Trevino’s overpayments came while she was one of eight applicants to become HABC’s permanent executive director.

HABC’s board later removed Trevino’s interim tag and named her permanent executive director.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.