Fresno PD employee launches ‘No on Dyer 2020’ group to inform voters of ‘favoritism’

A civilian Fresno Police Department employee and former union leader has started a new committee campaigning against outgoing Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, who is running for mayor.

Dee Barnes filed paperwork with the city clerk on Wednesday for a committee called “Rising Together, No on Dyer for Mayor 2020.” So far, no money has been raised.

Barnes is an account technician in the police department and has worked for the city for over 20 years. Barnes previously served as the Fresno City Employees Association president.

She started the committee because she and her husband, Jeff, don’t believe Dyer is the right person for mayor.

“I really have a unique perspective about the city with how much of the cronyism, nepotism and favoritism goes on throughout the entire city, especially in the police department,” she said. “I strongly believe we need some new leadership.”

While Barnes has attended a few fundraisers for prosecutor Andrew Janz, who also is running for mayor, she said the committee is not about him.

Dyer said he’s not concerned and will stay focused on the issues of the city.

During the recession, Barnes was vocal in her criticism of Dyer when about 60 percent of civilian police department employees were cut, Dyer said. He added that he disagrees with her statements about cronyism, nepotism and favoritism in the city and police department.

Barnes also criticized Dyer’s support of Measure G, which proposed privatizing city trash services and would’ve cut truck drivers’ pay by 25 percent. She also was upset with Dyer’s opposition to Measure P in 2018, a proposed sales tax increase to benefit city parks.

“He says in all his interviews that when he was at the police department, he was all about the police department, so when he’s mayor of the city, he’ll be all about the city,” Barnes said. “I’m not so sure about that. He was against Measure P and for Measure G. Why was he involved in either one of those when they were not part of the police department?”

Dyer also disagreed with Barnes on that: “She’s entitled to her opinion but she’s absolutely wrong about my support of city employees,” he said. “I’m very supportive of every employee at the city of Fresno, and I believe every one of them plays a vital role in this city.”

Barnes doesn’t have a fundraising target but she’s using her contacts from the city, Measure G and Measure P work to help raise money for mailers, fliers, possible Facebook videos or even radio ads. Her goal is to reach a majority of Fresno voters.

“We do not believe Jerry Dyer is the person to unite Fresno,” she said.

Campaign filings from July show Dyer raised over $250,000 and has about $240,000 in cash on hand. Janz has raised about $70,000 and has about $46,000 in cash on hand.

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Brianna Calix covers politics and investigations for The Bee, where she works to hold public officials accountable and shine a light on issues that deeply affect residents’ lives. She previously worked for The Bee’s sister paper, the Merced Sun-Star, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Fresno State.