Lawsuit challenges Fresno County Employees Retirement Association election result

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When Fresno County employees retire, they draw benefits from the Fresno County Employees Retirement Association.

A nine-member board oversees the money, including four elected board members

"That fund, the Fresno County employees retirement fund, holds over $4 billion. We really don't need any kind of shenanigans involved with that," said FCERA candidate Eulalio Gomez.

Gomez was one of those members until he got voted out in 2017.

But Gomez says the election featured plenty of shenanigans and 18 months later, he has new hope of getting his seat back without a new election.

He filed a lawsuit and attorney general Xavier Becerra's recent opinion on the case mentions the detailed documentary evidence of what Gomez called outrageous behavior.

Gomez gave the attorney general campaign-related emails sent on county email addresses, evidence of campaigning on county time -- including a union campaigning at a county health fair, and ballot harvesting caught on camera.

Becerra gave Gomez and two other candidates permission to move forward with a lawsuit to challenge the election.

"They are subject to removal if this seat was obtained either illegally or misconduct was used to get that seat," Gomez said.

We weren't able to reach the two board members whose seats are now being challenged, but they've filed some opposition in court already.

They said the board is subject to different election rules, which is true.

But one of the few listed election rules for the board says bulk delivery of ballots won't be accepted.

Gomez wants his seat back, but he also wants clearer rules so the billion-dollar board is run by people elected under a fair system.
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politicsfresno county
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