Fresno

Rapada, top staffer to Fresno Co. Supervisor, charged over conflict in UMC sale

Steve Rapada, the chief of staff to Fresno County Supervisor Sal Quintero, surrendered to law enforcement on Friday following a lengthy probe into conflicts of interest as a procurement official for the County of Fresno.

Rapada was charged with a single felony count of Conflict of Interest, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Prosecutors allege that Rapada had a personal financial interest in a County-negotiated contract while serving as Quintero’s Chief of Staff.

Rapada, sources told The Sun, served as a paid consultant to Construction Management Group – a Fresno-based developer who purchased the County-owned University Medical Center site on Kings Canyon Boulevard from the Fresno County – while serving as Quintero’s top aide.

Fresno County sold the former University Medical Center site to the company for $4 million as the hospital is gutted for housing units.

Construction Management Group agreed to a stipulation that 320 units on the property, or roughly 40 percent, would be set aside for low income and very-low income families.

Rapada once served as a Reedley City Council member. Elected in 2004, he resigned in 2011 when he and his family moved out of his Council district.

If convicted of the charge, Rapada faces fines, jail time, or up to 3 years in state imprisonment. Conviction would also prohibit him from holding any office in the State of California.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Rapada as a current employee of First 5 Fresno County.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.