Breaking down Fresno's Bonusgate

George Hostetter dives into City Hall amid Mayor Swearengin’s Bonusgate crisis, providing the backstory & questions from the fallout.

Where there’s smoke…

Be careful what you wish for.


City officials didn’t formally release Sloan’s report on bonuses. Someone with an agenda obviously leaked it.

And now that word is out, council members clearly are in high dudgeon. They vow to clean up “Bonusgate.”

But what’s at play here actually is standard operating procedure for City Hall. We’re talking about employee compensation. We’re talking about public money.

What a volatile mix!

So, city officials in their rush to get a handle on bonus payments may find taxpayers insisting that they also dig into things like pension-spiking. And accrued vacation. And accrued sick leave. And work rules. And second jobs among elected officials.

After all, there are lots of ways for taxpayers to get bilked.

  1. The point is that these payoffs have been “dark money,” dark taxpayers’ money lavished on favorites furtively, well out of taxpayers’ eyes and knowledge. AKA personal slush fund

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