FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza announced Monday that he is ending the defamation lawsuit he filed against fellow Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld.

In a statement, Esparza said that his decision followed the news that the City of Fresno will defend Garry Bredefeld in the lawsuit filed last month – adding that the liability to the city concerns him “because it is our belief that the lawsuit would be successful.”

“I love our city and will not sue the City of Fresno over my colleague’s defamatory remarks. His antics have already cost enough taxpayer dollars. For this reason, I am making the responsible decision to withdraw my suit so that we as a body can heal and move forward.”

Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza

The lawsuit was filed in response to accusations made by Bredefeld that Esparza had extorted City Attorney Doug Sloan, threatening him with losing his job if the city attorney did not follow four instructions set out by the city council president.

Doug Sloan left his position with the City of Fresno last month to become the city attorney in Santa Monica.

“My lawyer will be filing a motion in court to have Esparza reimburse the City of Fresno for all legal costs incurred defending this bogus lawsuit and I expect it to be granted,” Bredefeld said. “Just two days from today on Wednesday of this week, we were scheduled to have a court hearing before a judge regarding this bogus lawsuit. and rather than being embarrassed by the likely hood that the suit was going to be thrown out, Mr. Esparza dismissed the lawsuit.”