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Fresno Sheriff Union’s Longtime Leader Charged With Battery, Remains on Duty



A Fresno County deputy is being charged with battery. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Eric Schmidt, a Fresno County Sheriff deputy and leader of the deputy’s union, was charged with misdemeanor battery on Tuesday.

Because the Fresno County District Attorney’s office is conflicted out, the Tulare County DA examined the case, and filed charging documents in Fresno. Schmidt is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 1.

Fresno Police Investigated

Eric Schmidt

Fresno police handled the investigation for the alleged incident on Feb. 15, 2023. While they will not reveal details — including Schmidt’s relationship with the victim — a police spokesman says this is not a domestic violence situation.

“The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an ongoing administrative investigation into this incident which involves the criminal case filing. I want to remind everyone that the Sheriff’s Office takes all allegations seriously and will ensure that a thorough administrative investigation is conducted in this case. At this time, Deputy Eric Schmidt has not been placed on paid administrative leave, pending further investigation,” Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni said in a news release.

A sheriff’s spokesman said administrative leave policy is done on a case-by-case basis.

Schmidt, 47, has worked with the Fresno County sheriff’s department since 1997, shortly after he graduated from Fresno State. He’s served as president of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association since 2008.

He was appointed earlier this year to Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training board, by Gov. Gavin Newsom. He has also taught at the Fresno City College Police Academy since 2002.

The Tulare County DA’s office is charging Schmidt with PC 242, defined simply as “A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”

“Deputy Schmidt denies the charges, is presumed innocent and looks forward to his exoneration in court,” Schmidt’s San Francisco-based attorney Christopher J. Shea said in a statement.

FSDA is standing behind its leader.

“The Fresno DSA is disappointed by the decision of the Tulare County District Attorney to file what appears to be a baseless charge against Deputy Eric Schmidt. We fully and firmly support Eric and look forward to his ultimate vindication,” said FSDA first vice president Isaac Torres.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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