The investigation into First 5 Fresno County is about to deepen, sources tell CVObserver.
The agency, often caught at the center of controversy in County government, is currently in the crosshairs amid allegations of financial impropriety stemming from its executive director Emilia Reyes.
Reyes, sources told CVObserver on Wednesday afternoon, is the primary subject on Friday during a special meeting. The sole purpose of the meeting: dismissing Reyes from the agency.
Sources familiar with the investigation told CVObserver late Wednesday night that County officials are continuing to investigate the agency.
Put in its starkest terms: there “may be some more terminations to come,” a source said.
The initial outlook of the investigation centered on questions about the agency’s finances, and whether Reyes or others at the agency, engaged in improper activities allegedly at the direction of then-First 5 chairman Henry R. Perea.
Reyes took the helm of the agency as interim director, then named the permanent executive director. She replaced Kendra Rogers, whose exit from the agency was under similarly inauspicious terms. Rogers, who spearheaded the agency’s work to construct the Lighthouse for Children on Tulare Street, feuded regularly with former Supervisor Debbie Poochigian.
The feud escalated to the point that Rogers filed to run against Poochigian for Supervisor in 2016. Neither woman would ultimately make it to the ballot.
Rogers’ fate was sealed after Perea, then a Supervisor and chairman of the agency, sharply ceased supporting her leadership. The whiplash-inducing change of attitude occurred when Rogers invited former Mayor Ashley Swearengin (and former rival of Perea’s son Henry T. Perea) to the groundbreaking of the Lighthouse over Perea’s objections.