A letter I wrote to the judges of the Superior Court concerning the court’s investigation into Chief Probation Officer Rick Chavez is quoted in the article published Aug. 20 in The Bee titled “Fresno County judges assailed in reports about probation chief.”
The letter was intended as a confidential correspondence to the judges relaying concerns the county has with portions of the investigation report prepared by the court’s attorneys and on which the court bases a proposed termination of Mr. Chavez’s employment.
While the quotations from my letter in the article are accurate, the context of the article in combining together background information on the story, information from Barry Bennett (Mr. Chavez’s attorney) and verbal comments by individuals requires that I clarify a few points.
▪ Neither I nor anyone in my office released a copy to the press of what was intended as a confidential letter to the judges of the Superior Court from the county. I do not know how the press obtained a copy of the letter.
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▪ When contacted about the letter, although I confirmed that the letter had been sent to the judges, I declined all comment on the letter or on the substance of the allegations against Mr. Chavez. When the article refers to anything I have “said,” the article is referring only to what is in the letter.
▪ Nothing in the letter “assails” any judge of the Superior Court. The text of the letter makes clear that the county does not take an overall position on whether the Superior Court has enough evidence to justify the removal of Mr. Chavez by the Superior Court judges and further makes clear that decision is up to the judges.
The letter states the county’s concerns about certain portions of the investigation report prepared by the court’s attorneys that inaccurately or incompletely describe county policies and procedures or facts known to the county.
Daniel Cederborg, Fresno County counsel