Measure G: Swearengin accused of coaxing police chief

FRESNO, California

City leaders want to outsource residential trash pickup to save what they say is millions in taxpayer money. Opponents say the deal puts some trash collectors at risk for losing their jobs.

The Fresno Police Officer's Association is claiming the police chief has been a victim of the mayor's deception. Monday the mayor fired back saying these cheap shots are, in part, laughable.

The Fresno Police Officer's Association President, Jacky Parks, gave glowing compliments to the law enforcement leader Measure G has put him against, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

"This does not come easy for me because Chief Dyer is a friend, he's very intelligent and over my 28 years in law enforcement he has been the best chief or law enforcement leader I have ever worked for," Parks said.

But those remarks came seconds before Parks accused the mayor of coaxing the police chief into buying into her agenda and Measure G.

"I have learned through my career in law enforcement that even intelligent police officers who possess a great compassion for their fellow man and who want to believe people have the best intentions can be duped by a good con man. So I have to believe in this case Dyer's been duped," Parks said.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said she is committed to focusing on the final hours of the campaign despite the attacks.

"I'm focused on doing what's best for the community and I can take the punches," Swearengin said.

The Fresno County Clerk said 35,000 absentee ballots have been returned already.

Swearengin says she hasn't misled the chief, and if Measure G passes, the police and fire departments stand to gain.

"If Measure G passes it means we don't have to lose anymore police officers and firefighters and we get to start hiring back in the next two years," Swearengin said.

The Fresno Police Officer's Association said the city denied $9 million in concession offers to help with the budget crisis. But the mayor said it was a costly contract extension they wanted. One she isn't willing to entertain.

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