Fresno City Council candidate Miguel Arias is the subject of another ethics complaint. And he’s responding by assailing “the ultra-conservative folks in Fresno” he says are his critics.

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David Taub

The Fair Political Practices Commission, the state agency in charge of compliance with election laws, confirmed to GV Wire that it received a complaint against Arias.

GV Wire received a copy of the initial complaint letter. Although FPPC initially said they received it anonymously, in a July 18 notification letter to Arias, it lists the filer as Brandon Herreman. The letter did not list specific allegations.

Arias, however, says this complaint alleges a conflict of interest between his publicly elected position as a State Center Community College District trustee and his role on the board of a foster care agency. The complaint alleges he used his public position to steer money to the foster care agency.

“All they have is character assassination. That seems to work with President Trump. I don’t think you can insult your way into public office locally. Our supporters have seen right through it.” —  Miguel Arias

Not much is known about Herreman. GV Wire reached out to him via social media but has not received a response.

Arias says the allegation isn’t true, and he is cooperating with the FPPC.

“I’ve been serving the public for nearly 20 years. When your critics —  and let’s be crystal clear, they are the ultra-conservative folks in Fresno — when all they have is to attack your community service, they don’t have anything real to go after you,” Arias said.

“All they have is character assassination. That seems to work with President Trump. I don’t think you can insult your way into public office locally. Our supporters have seen right through it.”

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Arias is running for Fresno City Council, District 3 against Tate Hill.

By Arias’ count, this is the third complaint against him this year.

In addition to the active complaint, FPPC cleared Arias of an ethics complaint in April, from an anonymous source. The complaint alleged that Arias failed to disclose ownership of real estate on his public forms. The FPPC found insufficient evidence.

Arias said he owns real estate in Mendota, but it is not subject to disclosure under FPPC laws based on its distance from the boundary of the State Center district he represents.

In addition, the Fresno County District Attorney’s office said its Public Integrity Unit looked into a complaint about Arias’ residency.

“The investigation was completed, and the complaint was closed as being unfounded,” said Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright.

Tate and Arias will meet on the radio Sunday night (Aug. 19) for a debate. The two will be on KOFP 103.3 FM, with host Jamall Okoegwale. The program starts at 6 p.m.

Chamber Opposes Parks Measure

The Fresno Chamber of Commerce will not support Measure P, the Fresno initiative to raise sales taxes to benefit parks and related programs.

“We do not believe a proposal that addresses only one of these problems while committing Fresnans to 30 years of higher taxes is the prudent move.” — Nathan Ahle, president/CEO of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce

“While we are opposed to this particular measure, we are supportive of Fresno’s parks,” Chamber President/CEO Nathan Ahle said in a news release.

The Chamber preferred a compromise plan that would include public safety, an idea Mayor Lee Brand failed to push through the city council.

“We do not believe a proposal that addresses only one of these problems while committing Fresnans to 30 years of higher taxes is the prudent move,” Ahle said.

Voters will decide on the measure to increase sales taxes 3/8 of a cent in November. It needs two-thirds approval to pass.

AB 1992 Advances

After stalling in a state Senate committee, a bill that could force welfare recipients to choose between vaccinating their children and full state aid advanced to the Senate floor.

AB 1992, authored by Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) removes the personal belief exemption for vaccinating children to benefit from the CalWORKs program.

Chu’s bill would withhold $50 a month of state aid if proof of vaccination is not provided.

The Senate appropriations committee moved the bill out of its suspense file by a 5-2 party-line vote (Democrats in favor).

School Board Races Set

No last-minute surprise candidates emerged as the filing deadline for the November ballot elapsed Wednesday (Aug. 15). Here is the final list of Fresno-area candidates:

*Incumbent

Candidate Race
Randy Rocca Fresno County Board of Education, Area 1
Richard Martinez Fresno County Board of Education, Area 1
Kimberly Tapscott-Munson Fresno County Board of Education, Area 1
Michele Lee Arvance Fresno County Board of Education, Area 1
Marcy Masumoto Fresno County Board of Education, Area 4
Ronald Nishinaka* State Center Community College, District 4
Magdalena Gomez State Center Community College, District 4
Annalisa Perea State Center Community College, District 5
Daren Miller State Center Community College, District 5
Teri Orantes State Center Community College, District 5
Cesar Granda* Central Unified, Area 1
Jason Paul Central Unified, Area 1
Ruben Coronado* Central Unified, Area 2
Yesenia Carrillo Central Unified, Area 2
Richard Atkins* Central Unified, Area 4
Shawn Brooks Central Unified, Area 4
Rama Dawar* Central Unified, Area 7
Naindeep Singh Chann Central Unified, Area 7
Sandra Bengal Budd* Clovis Unified, Area 1
Susan Hatmaker Clovis Unified, Area 1
Tiffany Stoker Madsen Clovis Unified, Area 3
Albert Zuniga Clovis Unified, Area 3
Betsy Sandoval* Clovis Unified, Area 7
Robert Fuentes Fresno Unified, Area 1
Keshia Thomas Fresno Unified, Area 1
Valerie Davis* Fresno Unified, Area 3
Mark Ratchford Fresno Unified, Area 3
Karl Diaz Fresno Unified, Area 3
Christopher De La Cerda* Fresno Unified, Area 4
Veva Islas Fresno Unified, Area 4
Nasreen Johnson Fresno Unified, Area 7
Terri Edwards Fresno Unified, Area 7
Amanda Karabian Fresno Unified, Area 7
Terry Slatic Fresno Unified, Area 7

 

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