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Embattled Fresno Police Chief Cherry Picks Scripture on Social Media
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 7, 2024

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama posted Scripture on social media, hours after the Dyer administration announced that he is under investigation for an "inappropriate off-duty relationship." (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama responded to Thursday’s announcement that he is under city investigation by quoting scripture.

Balderrama posted on social media (X and Facebook) Thursday night, hours after the city announced it is looking into allegations that the chief had “an inappropriate off-duty relationship he was involved in with a non-city employee.”

Quoting Hebrews 13:5, Balderrama posted “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” His post also included “We will be okay…”

The chief left out a part of that verse. The full version reads, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,’ ” according to several Biblical websites.

In addition, the line before the Bible verse Balderrama posted reads, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4).

The Facebook post received several positive responses, including one from Sgt. Diana Trueba Vega.

“You and your family are ALWAYS in my prayers,” she wrote.

The chief also posted messages highlighting police officers’ involvement in the community.

Balderrama will remain on the job during the investigation, the city said. A news release from Fresno City Council President Annalisa Perea on Thursday morning said the chief would attend the city’s Gay Pride flag-raising ceremony on Friday. He did not attend.

Balderrama did not respond to a message left by GV Wire.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama’s social media post. (X)

City Attorney on Investigation

In other developments Friday, City Attorney Andrew Janz shed some light on the investigation.

“Investigations are ongoing, and I’ve advised the city council, including the mayor, to limit their conversations about this ongoing investigation,” Janz said on Friday.

Janz’s office will use an outside investigator to lead the inquiry. He did not identify which firm the city will hire, nor how much the investigation may cost.

While not setting a timetable, Janz said that “we’re doing (the investigation) as fast as we can.”

The Fresno City Council met in a closed session meeting Friday morning to discuss an unidentified pending litigation. The meeting was called on Thursday, hours before Dyer’s administration announced the investigation into Balderrama.

Martial Infidelity With Subordinate’s Wife?

While the city was vague in its description, KMJ radio host Ray Appleton said on his show Friday that the allegation involved Balderrama having an extramarital affair with a Fresno police officer’s wife.

Appleton’s callers were mixed on Balderrama’s alleged actions. Some questioned Balderrama’s integrity. Others said he should keep his job.

One legal expert GV Wire spoke with said that if the allegation is true, at the very least, Balderrama’s behavior would be a violation of the police department’s Code of Ethics.

“I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all,” the code reads in part. The full code can be read here (page 2).

Balderrama started as police chief in January 2021. He previously served 22 years in Oklahoma City, where he was the department’s deputy chief. He is married with three children.

 

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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

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