FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An email has been released on the heels of accusations from Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld that Councilmember Nelson Esparza threatened city attorney Doug Sloan’s job.
The email from Sloan and confirmed as authentic by a Fresno City spokesperson purportedly details a conversation Council President Nelson Esparza, referred to as NE, had with Sloan on April 22
“Yes, on the morning of April 22, I spoke to Council President in his office. This was the exchange:
NE: ‘I’m just going to cut to the chase, I’m standing between you and you losing your job. From now on you are to work only for the Council majority.’
DS: ‘So what do I do if the others ask me to do something?’
NE: ‘Come talk to me.’
DS: ‘So where is Luis [Chavez] on this’
NE: ‘It doesn’t matter.'”
“He sent it out to the mayor and he sent it out to me as well,” said Bredefeld of the email. “I think he wanted the record set that basically he was extorted as he told me,” said Bredefeld.
When contacted for comment on the message, Esparza said he was unaware of the email and referred back to an earlier statement saying, in part:
“Unsurprisingly, Bredefeld is again making allegations that are false, unsubstantiated and lack evidence.”
Mayor Jerry Dyer says he is continuing to closely monitor the situation and is aware of the email. He is calling for an investigation.
“If in fact what is being said is accurate, it is extremely serious,” Mayor Dyer said. “As a mayor and having prior law enforcement experience, I can not see this issue just — someone turning a blind eye to it in law enforcement.”
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp was not immediately available for comment and the DA’s office would not confirm an active investigation regarding the situation.