California Chief Resigns After Affair Investigation Begins

( – On Tuesday June 25 Mayor Jerry Dyer of Fresno, California announced the official resignation of their police chief Paco Balderrama, effective immediately.

Balderrama informed the mayor in February there might be allegations that he was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with the wife of a colleague. Balderrama was placed on administrative leave on June 13 when the city launched an official investigation.

Deputy Chief Mindy Casto has been acting as interim chief since Balderrama was placed on leave and is expected to continue to do so for the time being. The affair between Balderrama and the wife of a subordinate officer allegedly started in 2021 and lasted until late last year. Brian Whelan, the attorney representing the unnamed officer, released a public statement reiterating the allegation that the former Chief had denied his client a transfer in order to facilitate his relationship with the officer’s wife.

When he was placed on administrative leave Balderrama issued a statement that seemed to indicate he had no intention of resigning. Apparently obliquely referencing the affair he admitted that he had made mistakes and spoke of his pride in his family who had been deeply affected by the situation. When he later chose to step down, he released another public statement calling his time as chief as the “privilege of a lifetime.” He took the opportunity to praise his department saying that they were hard-working and compassionate who will continue to do great things.

Balderrama he was the first Latino appointed as the chief of police of Fresno. He served in that role for nearly four years. There seems to be broad agreement among city officials and the Fresno Police Officers Association that Balderrama’s resignation was in the best interests of the department and the community. However, both Mayor Dyer and City Manager White made a point to highlight Balderrama’s successes as chief while also not downplaying his indiscretions. The is some indication that Balderrama may be seeking another chief of police position in Texas.

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