FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Last week, 45-year-old Daniel Gai, former assistant to Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, pleaded no contest to five of seven felony counts in a domestic violence case from 2019.
On Thursday, several councilmembers called out Bredefeld for not firing the staffer sooner.
“Garry Bredefeld over his tenure on this council has purported to be tough on crime and a supporter of domestic violence victims. His hypocrisy is disgusting and laughable,” said Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria.
There were some heated exchanges during Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting, as councilmembers discussed a resolution to end severance pay for certain city employees convicted of a felony, many referencing Gai’s case.
“After a criminal act occurred and resulted in seven felony charges, instead of terminating the contractor as his employment contract required, Mr. Bredefeld kept him on salary, gave him raises and made him the highest-paid employee amongst his peers,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.
“Councilmember Bredefeld knew about the arrest and charges this individual faced for the last two and a half years, and what did he do? He didn’t fire him. He didn’t punish him. He kept him employed, and over the course of two and half years paid him nearly a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money,” said Fresno City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell.
“Last week he went to trial, he pleaded no contest, and as a result, I said you can no longer work here, and he submitted his resignation,” said Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld. “He has been an exemplary employee here for nearly five years, and I gave him the opportunity to have his day in court.”
“I’m calling for Garry to donate the remaining of his campaign funds to the Marjorie Mason Center to ensure that women and children who continue to be victimized get the support and resources they need to end the cycle of violence,” said Soria.
The resolution ultimately passed, meaning certain city employees who are convicted of a felony will not receive severance pay.
Many councilmembers also took the opportunity to air other grievances about Bredefeld’s behavior and conduct during his time on the council, and Bredefeld fired back about theirs.