The investigation of Fresno County Probation Chief Rick Chavez by Presiding Superior Court Judge Kimberly Gaab is based on false and grossly misrepresented allegations initiated by a few disgruntled probation employees aligned with Judge Gaab to oust Mr. Chavez.
It has served to rupture the longstanding relationship of the courts with the Probation Department, demoralize probation staff, and cause fractures within the department. It has brought undeserved embarrassment to Mr. Chavez, a respected employee of Fresno County for the last 32 years, who has the support of other county department heads and the Board of Supervisors.
Judge Gaab has treated the board and administrators, who oversee all personnel, budgetary and operational matters of the Probation Department, with disrespect throughout the process, leading them to take the unprecedented action of placing a county charter amendment on the November ballot removing oversight of the probation chief from the courts.
It is time for Judge Gaab to end this transparent charade, apologize to Mr. Chavez and return him to duty. She should then be removed by her colleagues as presiding judge for her poor judgment and lack of integrity.
William Owens, Fresno