Breaking down Fresno's Bonusgate

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

Dyer speaks: FPD took its lumps during recession



Dyer sent this in-house email on Thursday:

“This is Chief Dyer with a message to all department personnel.

“As many of you know various news media stations reported today that the city manager had received and provided department directors with retention bonuses.  This past March I also received a bonus for the first time.

“I would like to provide additional information that will hopefully place this into the proper context.

“During the recession when city employees were making concessions, all Department Directors, including me were asked to make concessions.

“For two consecutive years all department directors were asked to take a 3% pay cut and a 40 hour unpaid furlough for a 5% total pay reduction. In addition to this, I also suffered the same concessions FPOA managers made which included forfeiting uniform checks for one year, and deferring three years of holiday cash out and two years administrative time cash out.

“During this time, as part of my employment contract with the City of Fresno I was entitled to a $20,000 annual retention bonus, which I declined both years. I did so quietly as I did not feel it would be appropriate to accept a bonus when city employees were deferring or giving back pay raises.

“In total I made $60,000 in concessions during this three year period and deferred $35,000 in eligible cash outs.

“This past year I did accept the $20,000 retention bonus for the first time since being eligible due to the City’s improved financial picture and the fact that FPOA members were once again receiving pay raises they had deferred.

“In addition beginning this past July all non represented employees, including me were also asked to not accept 20 hours of additional administrative time which my employment contract allows for.  This administrative time can also be cashed out.  This is on ongoing annual concession for me of $1,700.

“I am very sensitive to the fact that all of our city employees are overworked and underpaid and have been asked to do more with less for the past several years with little relief in sight.

“I would like to express my appreciation to all of you for your hard work and dedication and wanted all of you to know, as a law enforcement family we all shared in the pain of the recession.  Thank you. “

  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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