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Parents Of Joaquin Arambula Donate $100,000 To Group Opposing Dyer Mayoral Campaign

Monica Velez
Valley Public Radio
Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced his candidacy for mayor in May 2019.

The family of a local legislator has made significant donations to a committee formed to oppose the mayoral campaign of former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Campaign filings show that between October and November, Juan and Amy Arambula, the parents of Fresno County Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, donated nearly $100,000 to a political action committee called “Rising Together, No on Dyer for Mayor 2020,” which has created a Facebook group with hundreds of followers and published at least one video attack ad against the former police chief.

“The contribution was motivated by the desire for a mayor that we can be proud of, and a mayor who will support our city,” Juan Arambula said, pointing to an excessive use of force lawsuit filed against the police department earlier this year and a video that recently surfaced showing an officer shooting a teenager while running away from police as well as many other high-profile incidents that occurred under Dyer’s watch. “My overwhelming desire is to not see Jerry Dyer as mayor,” Arambula said, adding that he isn’t throwing his support behind any particular candidate just yet.

Dyer had also been instrumental in bringing child abuse charges against Joaquin Arambula late last year, for which the legislator was later found not guilty. The elder Arambula acknowledged that connection wasn’t lost on him. “That was one instance out of many that convinced us to be involved in this effort,” he said.

In an email statement, Dyer said he was disappointed to learn about this committee. “After 18 years of making tough decisions to keep Fresno safe as your police chief, I knew that some people would oppose me,” he wrote. “But wouldn't this money be better spent resolving our community's challenges rather than waging petty personal vendettas?” He suggested the community come together to solve homelessness, improve parks, and assist children and seniors.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.