Lingering questions after City Attorney exposes Bonusgate

Fresno City Hall’s top lawyer exposed Bonusgate. Now, questions are focusing on him, George Hostetter writes.


What possible reason would Rudd have for saying yes to Sloan? Rudd would shoulder all the responsibility if the raises/bonuses raised a stink among the public. Rudd would get none of the glory if the raises/bonuses sparked a surge of productivity in the City Attorney’s Office (the council would take all the bows).


Rudd said no. Sloan got angry, and vowed to dig into the Swearengin Administration’s dirty laundry (i.e. bonuses/deferred compensation).

But even here, things blew up in Sloan’s face.

Rudd and others dragged their heels when Sloan asked for bonus information. Finally, there was the big parley in late October. Rudd and Sloan were squared off at a conference table.

What trump card did Sloan play to get the information that proves he’s right and Rudd is wrong?

The Transparency In City Government Act!

Sloan knew about the Transparency Act all along. He was an assistant city attorney, serving under Jim Sanchez, when the act was passed in 2010. He was an assistant city attorney when the Swearengin Administration last fulfilled the act’s requirements in 2012. He was the full-fledged city attorney in 2013, 2014 and 2015 when the Swearengin Administration was supposed to fulfill the act’s requirements but didn’t. But he never mentioned the Transparency Act to his bosses from 2013 to late 2015.

And then, when he was eyeball to eyeball with a mulish administrator who has no authority on the subject at hand, Sloan suddenly remembered: The Transparency Act!

I wonder if Rudd, when he heard the words “Transparency Act” tumble from Sloan’s lips and he slid that two-page spreadsheet toward the city attorney, was smiling on the inside.

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