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City Hall Says Goodbye to Badhesha, Who Will Don a Judicial Robe a Couple Blocks Away
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 weeks ago on
June 27, 2024

Soon-to-be Judge Raj Singh Badhesha (right) shares a moment of celebration with Jakara Movement leader Naindeep Singh. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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The city of Fresno threw Raj Singh Badhesha a going away party, filled with speeches, proclamations and food.

Badhesha (pronounced Buh-DAY-shaw), the chief assistant city attorney, starts as Fresno County Superior Court judge on July 15. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Badhesha in May, to replace the retired Jon Kapetan.

“I’d like to be the the kind of judge that people say is fair. So, I think that that will depend on the circumstances. But I’d like to be somebody that when a litigant leaves the courtroom, they say, I was heard,” Badhesha told GV Wire.

He becomes the first county judge of Sikh background, and the first turban-wearing judge in the state.

Currently undergoing judicial training and orientation, Badhesha will preside over criminal misdemeanors in Department 1.

He said his wife and kids are adjusting well.

“We’re just taking everything in stride. And then the schedule should not be much different than here. I’m hoping this isn’t very impactful,” Badhesha said.

Bhai Sarbjit Singh Ji from the Fresno Sikh Institute leads the Fresno City Council invocation, as future judge Raj Singh Badhesha prays, Thursday, June 27, 2024. (GV Wire/David Taub)

A Celebration and Proclamation

All city councilmembers, Mayor Jerry Dyer, and City Attorney Andrew Janz had kind words for Badhesha in the chambers, proclaiming the day in his honor.

Badhesha is the voice of calm, Dyer said, in sometimes turbulent closed session meetings.

The chambers filled with City Hall, staff, especially from the City Attorney’s Office, family, and members of the Sikh community.

After the city council adjourned for lunch, the public enjoyed a reception, with catered Indian food, in the council lobby.

The Fresno City Council honors future judge Raj Singh Badhesha, Thursday, June 27, 2024. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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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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