Balderrama pens apology, omits carrying on affair with officer’s wife

Paco Balderrama sent an apology message to the Fresno Police Department, but did not admit to having an affair with the wife of one of his own officers.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama apologized to his officers through a memo on Monday for cheating on his wife. 

Despite the apology, Balderrama did not tell the police department that he had an affair with the wife of one of the department’s officers. 


The backstory: Last week, the City of Fresno issued a vague statement announcing that it was investigating Balderrama for an “inappropriate relationship,” declining to divulge any other details. 

  • According to a statement from the officer to The Sun, Balderrama allegedly held the officer back from another position in the department in order to keep the affair going. 

Balderrama’s message: Balderrama sent a memo to his officers saying he met with command staff and professional staff managers last Thursday to provide information on the situation and ask for their forgiveness. 

  • “It is so very true that there are two sides to every story, but I do not intend to justify or defend myself regardless of any unknown circumstances,” Balderrama said in his message. “My actions did not meet the standards of who I am as a man of faith, husband, or father. I own my mistakes, they are mine and mine alone to bear, and I will pay for those mistakes for the rest of my life.” 

Asking for forgiveness: Balderrama also pleaded with his officers to forgive him for conducting an affair. 

  • “I humbly come to you and ask for your forgiveness as your leader, who clearly has flaws and imperfections,” Balderrama said. “I realize many of you may be upset and disappointed. I understand those feelings and I don’t fault you for it.” 
  • He said his family has been deeply affected by his affair and asked the department for “grace, discretion and understanding during this difficult time.” 

Ending on a high note: Along with his apology, Balderrama wrapped up his message by praising the department. 

  • “I also want to say that this incident and media frenzy do not take away from the amazing work this department has done,” Balderrama said. “You are all a phenomenal group of men and women, who have been consistently outperforming most departments across the country in just about every category. Do not be distracted from the important work you do in providing safety and security to our city. Fresno needs you now more than ever, and I am extremely proud of you.” 
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