FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A special closed meeting was held on Tuesday to appoint a new permanent Fresno City Attorney.

Fresno County District Attorney Office Prosecutor Andrew Janz garnered enough votes from the City Council to secure the position.

Council President Nelson Esparza, Council Members Tyler Maxwell, Miguel Arias, and Mike Karbassi voted in favor of Janz.

Council Member Garry Bredefeld voted against the appointment. Council Members Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez were not present.  

“Andrew Janz has spent the majority of his professional career working in our city and county. He is intimately aware of the issues that our City faces and is driven by a dedication to public service that stood out among all other candidates,” says Nelson Esparza, Fresno City Council President.

Janz issued a statement that says, “For the last eight years, it has been a true honor to represent the People of the State of California as a prosecutor. Working under District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, we were successful in seeking justice for many victims of violent crime including the most vulnerable victims,” said Janz. “I’m humbled by the Fresno City Council’s trust in me to lead the Office of the City Attorney and look forward to this challenging opportunity to serve the People in a new capacity.”

The Fresno City Attorney position was vacated by Doug Sloan after allegations surfaced that Esparza had threatened his job during a meeting at city hall. Earlier Tuesday Esparza had a felony extortion charge regarding the alleged incident reduced to a misdemeanor.

Janz has run for elected office in the past, including Mayor of Fresno. In 2020 he was defeated by former Chief of Police Jerry Dyer.

In 2018 Janz lost a bid to unseat then-incumbent Republican Representative Devin Nunes.