Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Drama Between City, County Ignites With Fresno Medical Lab Ordinance
By admin
Published 11 months ago on
August 24, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to “bring greater accountability and transparency” to medical laboratories in the hope of preventing an illegal medical lab like the one in Reedley from opening in the city.

In response to the measure, an attorney in the Fresno County Counsel’s Office wrote letters to several healthcare providers discussing the impacts, if any, it might have on them.

The updated code requires labs that have infectious diseases on site to notify the city of their operations. The city would then notify businesses and residents within 1,000 feet of the proposed site. It also requires labs to have all state, federal, and local licensing.

Much like with other conditional use permits, the public would have a chance to give input, according to Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

The measure comes on the tail of the illegal medical lab discovered in Reedley that had infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, and malaria. The lab had moved to Reedley after closing in Fresno.

Nelson Esparza, co-author of the measure, called it a “common sense” update.

Councilmembers approved the item 6-0, with Councilmember Mike Karbassi absent from the dais. The item will come back for an affirming vote on a future agenda.

“We can bring greater accountability and transparency and safety in the future to the citizens of Fresno should we encounter another Reedley lab,” said Councilmember Garry Bredefeld during the meeting.

Back-and-Forth Accusations

Back-and-forth accusations between the councilmen and county officials preceded Thursday’s vote.

Arias and Bredefeld held two news conferences during the week, advocating for the resolution while criticizing county leaders. Wednesday, the members distributed a redacted email to the media, sent from a deputy county attorney to United Health Centers.

“It appears that (the city resolution) would have an effect on every UHC laboratory within the city limits. I’d like to discuss this if you are available,” the email sent Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. said.

The email came from Rachel Madden, a deputy county counsel, who previously served as an attorney for Sante Health Systems. She sent similar emails to at least seven different local medical organizations about the ordinance.

Arias and Bredefeld vigorously denied the ordinance would affect existing medical facilities. They said the county was peddling misinformation.

Both Bredefeld and Arias are running for supervisorial seats in the March 2024 ballot.

County Attorney Responds

Fresno County Counsel Daniel Cederborg defended the emails sent from his office.

“This press conference was just an attack on an individual attorney that’s doing her job for the safety of the public. And I find that, you know, to be troublesome, at least,” Cederborg said. “There’s no effort to intimidate anybody or to unstabilize anybody.”

Arias suggested the county contact the Fresno City Attorney’s office. Cederborg said his office did. An email provided by the county showed the county sending the Fresno City Attorney’s office an inquiry Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. However, this was after Madden reached out to the medical groups.

“I don’t know what the city concern is with having more transparency about the ordinance, being distributed to people that it might apply to,” Cederborg said. “It’s not political activity to inquire just, hey, what’s the impact of this to see whether there might be an impact on the healthcare system in Fresno County as a whole.”

(GV Wire reporter Edward Smith contributed to this story.)

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Fresno Staffing Company Must Pay $500K in EEOC Sexual Harassment Settlement

DON'T MISS

Fresno Coroner Seeks Help Finding Relatives of Man Who Recently Died

DON'T MISS

California Took Vacation Time From a Prison Doctor. Now It Has to Pay Him $1.8 Million

DON'T MISS

Wildfire Explodes Near Chico, Prompting Widespread Evacuations

DON'T MISS

There’s a Big Cooldown on the Way. When Will It Arrive in Fresno?

DON'T MISS

As Millennials, We are Used to Being Numb and We Need a Nap

DON'T MISS

Church Sues Colorado Town to Be Able to Shelter Homeless in Trailers, Work ‘Mandated by God’

DON'T MISS

Coco Gauff Chosen as US Female Flag Bearer at Olympic Opening Ceremony

DON'T MISS

WNBA Earns Landmark 11-Year Media Deal With Disney, Amazon Prime, NBC

DON'T MISS

How to Decode Kamala Harris’s Foreign Policy

UP NEXT

Fresno Coroner Seeks Help Finding Relatives of Man Who Recently Died

UP NEXT

California Took Vacation Time From a Prison Doctor. Now It Has to Pay Him $1.8 Million

UP NEXT

Wildfire Explodes Near Chico, Prompting Widespread Evacuations

UP NEXT

There’s a Big Cooldown on the Way. When Will It Arrive in Fresno?

UP NEXT

As Millennials, We are Used to Being Numb and We Need a Nap

UP NEXT

Church Sues Colorado Town to Be Able to Shelter Homeless in Trailers, Work ‘Mandated by God’

UP NEXT

Coco Gauff Chosen as US Female Flag Bearer at Olympic Opening Ceremony

UP NEXT

WNBA Earns Landmark 11-Year Media Deal With Disney, Amazon Prime, NBC

UP NEXT

How to Decode Kamala Harris’s Foreign Policy

UP NEXT

Ray Pitches 5 Hitless Innings in First Start Since Surgery as Giants Beat Dodgers

Wildfire Explodes Near Chico, Prompting Widespread Evacuations

2 hours ago

There’s a Big Cooldown on the Way. When Will It Arrive in Fresno?

2 hours ago

As Millennials, We are Used to Being Numb and We Need a Nap

2 hours ago

Church Sues Colorado Town to Be Able to Shelter Homeless in Trailers, Work ‘Mandated by God’

3 hours ago

Coco Gauff Chosen as US Female Flag Bearer at Olympic Opening Ceremony

3 hours ago

WNBA Earns Landmark 11-Year Media Deal With Disney, Amazon Prime, NBC

3 hours ago

How to Decode Kamala Harris’s Foreign Policy

3 hours ago

Ray Pitches 5 Hitless Innings in First Start Since Surgery as Giants Beat Dodgers

3 hours ago

Publisher Plans Massive ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Reprints to Meet Demand for VP Candidate JD Vance’s Book

3 hours ago

The Real Theme of JD Vance’s and Donald Trump’s Memoirs

3 hours ago

Fresno Staffing Company Must Pay $500K in EEOC Sexual Harassment Settlement

Fresno company Select Staffing has agreed to pay $500,000 and change its employment practices to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal ...

33 mins ago

33 mins ago

Fresno Staffing Company Must Pay $500K in EEOC Sexual Harassment Settlement

1 hour ago

Fresno Coroner Seeks Help Finding Relatives of Man Who Recently Died

1 hour ago

California Took Vacation Time From a Prison Doctor. Now It Has to Pay Him $1.8 Million

2 hours ago

Wildfire Explodes Near Chico, Prompting Widespread Evacuations

2 hours ago

There’s a Big Cooldown on the Way. When Will It Arrive in Fresno?

2 hours ago

As Millennials, We are Used to Being Numb and We Need a Nap

3 hours ago

Church Sues Colorado Town to Be Able to Shelter Homeless in Trailers, Work ‘Mandated by God’

3 hours ago

Coco Gauff Chosen as US Female Flag Bearer at Olympic Opening Ceremony

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend