FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Members of the Fresno County Democratic Party claim that Fresno County supervisors violated the Brown Act by supporting a plan for a city-run power utility.
On Thursday, representatives of the Fresno County Democratic Party announced that they had submitted a Brown Act complaint against the board of supervisors to the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.
The complaint alleges that the Brown Act, which requires legislative bodies to hold open meetings for the public, was violated when Mayor Jerry Dyer met or spoke with Chairman Brian Pacheco and supervisors Sal Quintero, Buddy Mendes, Steve Brandau, and Nathan Magsig in late October.
The Fresno County Democratic Party claims that Dyer had asked the supervisors to support a plan for the city to take over power utility responsibilities from PG&E, violating the Brown Act’s section about serial meetings – which prohibits a majority of a legislative body from holding private meetings to “discuss, deliberate, or take action” on decisions that impact the public.
On October 31, Dyer was joined by Pacheco, Brandau, and Mendes at a press conference at Fresno City Hall to announce a plan to hire a consultant to figure out if it would be possible for the city to provide electricity for residents.
“At the press event Chairman Brian Pacheco spoke on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and stated ‘our Board stands of full support of this effort,'” Fresno County Democratic party representatives wrote in a press release.
In response to the complaint, a spokesperson with the County of Fresno said the allegations contain inaccuracies and are completely unfounded.
Officials with Fresno County said that Pacheco was the only supervisor who spoke during the press conference last month, and Mendes and Brandau did not provide any comments.
“I welcome any review of these false accusations. My attendance and statement at the press conference was focused on highlighting community concerns about PG&E,” said Pacheco in a statement.
The statement from the county went on to say that none of the board members had engaged in any discussions about the city’s plan for taking over power utility responsibilities.
Additionally, Fresno County officials said none of the supervisors had taken action on the plan.
“Clearly, a publicly announced press conference where no official action was taken by Board of Supervisor members meets neither of these criteria,” Fresno County officials wrote.
A spokesperson with the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the complaint filed by the democratic party.
“As we have shared in the past, and in the interest of consistency, our office will not comment on whether or not our Public Integrity Unit has received a specific ‘complaint’.”Fresno County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson