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Bredefeld Says He’s Looking to Sue to Reopen Fresno



Composite image of coronavirus, Garry Bredefeld, and Fresno City Hall
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Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday to make a “major announcement” that he hopes will expedite the reopening of businesses.

As part of Mayor Lee Brand’s coronavirus emergency declaration on March 16, City Manager Wilma Quan ordered all “non-essential” businesses to close. While places like grocery and hardware stores and chain retailers such as Target are open, other businesses had to shutter.

The economic hardships endured by mom-and-pops, barbershops, hairstylists, gyms, and dine-in restaurants — among many others — are acute.

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David Taub

Politics 101

Also in Politics 101:

  • Lawsuit calls COVID-19 business closures unconstitutional.
  • Mandatory temperature screenings at city buildings.
  • Congressman Harder endorses Biden for president

“I am looking to sue as well. I think that’s what it’s going to require to fight back,” Bredefeld said on KMJ radio Friday.

But Bredefeld on Monday would not divulge further details about his announcement.

“These have been arbitrary decisions, often in conflict with other communities,” Bredefeld said in a news release Monday. “This has resulted in trampling our citizens’ constitutional rights, civil liberties, and violates their freedoms. This is authoritarian government!

“While we must remain vigilant in fighting COVID-19, we must also strike the right balance between protecting public health, businesses and livelihoods, and our civil liberties, which has not been done. Unless these unconstitutional policies are rescinded quickly, the economic and societal damage will be catastrophic and potentially irreversible.”

City Hall spokesman Mark Standriff told GV Wire that “as a policy, we don’t discuss ongoing lawsuits and we certainly don’t discuss potential lawsuits.”

Lawsuit Filed in Southern California

On Friday, several plaintiffs sued the state and other southern California officials in federal court over their businesses being declared non-essential. Those business owners are represented by attorneys Harmeet Dhillon and Mark Geragos.

After Bredefeld spoke on KMJ on Friday, council President Miguel Arias tweeted that he looks forward to the impending litigation.

“I hope this goes forward funded by campaign funds. The public deserves to see all the material of discovery. Who knew what and when and what actions they took,” Arias wrote.

Bredefeld responded that campaign dollars couldn’t be used in a lawsuit. And, he would use his own money.

The southern California lawsuit says the government is acting unconstitutionally by closing their operations.

“Our country was built on the premise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and today in 2020 those freedoms are being stripped away from law-abiding citizens and businesses without rational thought or a rational basis,” Geragos said in a news release. “We filed this action to enforce the Constitution and ask that our public officials do the same.”

City Hall: Take Temperature or Risk Firing

The latest emergency order from Quan requires everyone entering a city facility to have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above will be denied admittance.

The order says that “any employee who violates this order may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

While the order calls for a “non-contact” screening, it does not specify if it will be taken with a temperature gun or other device, who will administer the screening, and what training or credentials they will have, other than screeners “shall wear an approved mask, gloves and face shield.”

Harder Supports Biden

Congressman Josh Harder (D-Turlock) became the latest Democrat to line up behind his party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden.

“Joe was instrumental in the effort to reform our broken health care system and ensure people with preexisting conditions can get access to health care coverage. Without his efforts, nearly 100,000 people in my Central Valley district wouldn’t have health care right now,” Harder said in a weekend news release.

Harder joins Valley Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) in his support for Biden. Costa announced his endorsement just before California’s March primary.

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 2:08 p.m. to reflect that Bredefeld has not definitively said that he will sue the city of Fresno.)


Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email