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County’s CAO plans to resign

Madera County Chief Administrative Officer Eric Fleming on Sunday notified the Madera County Board of Supervisors of his intention to resign his $306,000-a-year job before the end of 2020.

In his resignation letter to the Supervisors, Fleming said, “All good things come to an end, and I believe that 2020 will be the perfect year for me to wrap up loose ends and step down as CAO.

“The decision was a difficult one, and something I’ve been contemplating for the last year or so. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I have the energy or ability to affectively lead this organization any further.”

Fleming, 50, of Fresno, was hired as an assistant CAO in 2005, and was appointed to the top job in 2010, according to county records.

No Board of Supervisors member would comment publicly on Fleming’s decision when contacted by The Madera Tribune. However, a few years ago, when Fleming allegedly was being wooed by Fresno County, the Board of Supervisors quickly raised his salary by some $30,000 a year to avoid having to recruit a replacement for someone with Fleming’s qualifications.

However, Fleming’s administration hasn’t been without some bumpy rides.

Fleming was the subject of a Madera County Grand Jury investigation in 2018 for his hosting of 172 county lunch meetings over a two-year period, costing taxpayers approximately $13,500 at local restaurants and charged on his CalCard — or county credit card. Fleming publicly defended the lunches as a good return on investment, creating opportunities to meet with busy county department heads and staff.

Fleming also has been criticized for working from home most of the time.

Fleming’s personal life has brought him into brushes with the law.

A Fresno businesswoman with whom he had a 72-hour online relationship has sought a restraining order through the Fresno Police Department against him. The woman complainant was in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, a member of the Madera County Corrections staff.

Fleming is a divorcee.

Complaints against him by the same woman have been investigated by the Madera County Sheriff’s Department, who turned the case over to the Madera County Counsel’s office for review as a personnel matter, as the case did not reach the sheriff’s standard for criminal prosecution. Fleming has administrative control over the county counsel’s office.

Fleming also is a defendant in a DUI case out of Fresno, which is scheduled to go to trial in June.

Fleming did not respond to a request for comment from The Madera Tribune.

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