Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin apologized Friday for “dropping the ball” in informing the City Council of bonuses paid to top administrators.
The issue erupted Thursday at the City Council meeting. Council members learned that administrators like City Manager Bruce Rudd had received substantial bonuses over the past two years without the council being notified first.
Under the city’s Transparency in City Government Act, such payments are to be made public during budget hearings.
On Friday the mayor issued a news release that began “We dropped the ball.” She repeated the phrase a second time later in her statement.
Swearengin said the last two reports required under the transparency act were not done, and she took responsibility for that omission.
But she stressed that no compensation was paid beyond what was in the city budget. Swearengin also said the bonuses were important tools used to retain employees like Rudd.
He received almost $56,000 over the past two years. “It was important to entice him to stay through my second term,” Swearengin said.
Altogether, more than $200,000 in bonuses was paid out to certain top officials in the last two years.
This story will be updated.