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'All I Can Do Is Ask for Your Forgiveness,' Fresno's Top Cop Says in Email to Officers
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 11, 2024

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama (GV Wire File)

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With questions swirling about his future, Police Chief Paco Balderrama asked Fresno police officers for their “forgiveness” in an email sent Monday evening.

“I own my mistakes, they are mine and mine alone to bear, and I will pay for those mistakes for the rest of my life.” — Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama

Balderrama, 47, is being investigated by the City Attorney’s Office at the behest of Mayor Jerry Dyer’s administration for an alleged off-duty relationship. According to a published report, the alleged affair lasted more than two years and was with the spouse of a Fresno police officer.

City Hall’s announcement last week revealing the investigation of Balderrama, however, referred to the alleged affair as “an inappropriate off-duty relationship he was involved in with a non-city employee.”

Balderrama, who continues as chief amid the investigation, is said to be losing the trust of some police officers. Fresno Police Officers Association President Brandon Wiemiller made that clear in an email to members announcing that the union’s leadership team would meet Wednesday night to talk about the situation.

Chief’s Bid to Win Back Police Officers’ Trust

The police chief’s Monday email included sentiments aimed at winning back that trust.

“It is so very true that there are two sides to every story, but I do not intend to justify or defend myself regardless of any unknown circumstances,” Balderrama wrote in Monday’s email. “My actions did not meet the standards of who I am as a man of faith, husband, or father. I own my mistakes, they are mine and mine alone to bear, and I will pay for those mistakes for the rest of my life.

“I humbly come to you and ask for your forgiveness as your leader, who clearly has flaws and imperfections. I realize many of you may be upset and disappointed. I understand those feelings and I don’t fault you for it.”

Balderrama closed the email by writing: “I am deeply sorry for letting you down, and all I can do is ask for your forgiveness.”

The police chief is married and has three children.

He stated in the email, “My family has been deeply affected by this and I humbly ask for your grace, discretion, and understanding during this difficult time. ”

Balderrama’s Email to Fresno Police Officers

FPOA President’s Email to Police Officers

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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