FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Lisa Smittcamp, Fresno County District Attorney, said her office has identified all cases involving Fresno Police Officer Rick Fitzgerald and offered transparency in reviewing those cases following allegations he was recently a member of the Proud Boys.
In a statement, Smittcamp said she is committed to working with the police department, other agencies and courts in addressing concerns and potential impact on cases involving Fitzgerald, who has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation after allegations suggested he was a member of a right-wing group that has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“It’s important that every citizen in the County of Fresno trust that members of our law enforcement community will behave equitably and free from biases when investigating, evaluating and prosecuting cases. To the extent that Officer Fitzgerald’s alleged affiliations, publicly available statements, social media posts or observed conduct undermine that public trust is of grave concern. I am committed to working with the Fresno Police Department, the Fresno County Public Defender, all members of the criminal defense bar, and the courts in addressing these concerns and the impact it may have on any cases.”Lisa Smittcamp, Fresno County District Attorney
Due to privacy rights established by statute, findings of internal affairs investigations are not automatically shared with either party in a criminal case, the District Attorney’s Office said. Once the internal affairs investigation is complete, the legal process allows parties in a criminal case to seek information, with agreement and input from the court, about the investigation and any findings.
The DA’s Office anticipates that this procedure will be used as appropriate in matters involving Fitzgerald.