Dictos claimed he was blackmailed by Fresno Co. Supervisor Brandau. He’s endorsing him for re-election.

Dictos is choosing to support his colleague at the county instead of Garry Bredefeld.

Fresno County Assessor-Recorder Paul Dictos endorsed Supervisor Steve Brandau for reelection to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. 

Dictos, who had challenged Brandau in the primary, said in a statement that Brandau has the proven track record needed on the board. Yet just last year Dictos made claims of retaliation, blackmail and age discrimination involving Brandau. 


Driving the news: Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld placed in first for the District 2 race in the March primary with 37.83 percent of the vote. 

  • Brandau came in second at 28.08 percent and will advance to the general election in November against Bredefeld. 
  • While Dictos placed third at 16.04 percent and will not continue to November, he received over 7,300 votes in a race that saw nearly 46,000 votes cast in total. 
  • Bryce Herrera and Dion Bourdase rounded out the race at 10.34 percent and 7.72 percent, respectively. 

What they’re saying: Dictos released a statement Monday morning thanking his supporters and friends who worked tirelessly during his campaign over the last six months, saying it was an honor to meet so many people in the north Fresno district. 

  • “It is with this same conviction that I am endorsing incumbent Steve Brandau for Supervisor,” Dictos said. “As your current elected Fresno County Assessor-Recorder for the past 14 years, I cannot remain silent and allow the continuous innuendos, threats and half-truths that have plagued our Fresno City Council to continue in the County’s board chambers.” 
  • Dictos continued, “We need Supervisor Steve Brandau, who will continue to collaborate with his colleagues and twenty-six county department heads, to find solutions that meet the most pressing needs of our communities. Steve Brandau has a proven record of leadership on the Board of Supervisors and is well-prepared to continue his work on our behalf.” 

The backstory: Dictos throwing his support behind Brandau may come as a surprise to some given allegations that came to light last year between the two. 

  • McClatchy reported in June 2023 that Dictos levied allegations of blackmail, retaliation and discrimination against some county officials, including Brandau. 
  • According to the report, Dictos accused Brandau and Fresno County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland of pressuring him to remove Assistant Assessor-Recorder JoAnn Ebisuda from her position and replace her with Peter Filippi. 
  • Dictos then accused Nerland and Brandau of retaliating against him for not elevating Filippi by launching an investigation into alleged inappropriate comments he made about Ebisuda, which Nerland said in a memo that Dictos made during a lunch meeting. 
  • Earlier in 2023 Dictos had been advocating for raises for his department, asking for a 13 percent increase. But Dictos felt Nerland and Brandau wanted something in return for endorsing a 10 percent raise to the board – reorganizing his department. 
  • “I am appalled at the way that you guys are going about because I am not used to being blackmailed,” Dictos said in a meeting with Nerland, Brandau and Board Clerk Bernice Seidel, according to the report. “This is a pure and straight blackmail.” 
  • Fresno County denied the allegations of retaliation and blackmail. 
  • Along with those claims, Dictos also alleged that Brandau asked him if he had a “succession plan,” which he took as age discrimination because he was 80 years old. 
  • “I responded why are you asking? Is it because I am 80 years old?…” Dictos said, according to the report. “I said to him: ‘supervisor Brandau this is called age discrimination. Elected officials’ succession is determined by the voters.’” 
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