In every situation that we worked in together, former Patterson Police Chief Nuno focused on doing the right thing.
Working as a member of the media with our first responders, particularly the police, requires trust on both sides, and I was fortunate to have developed good working relationships with both of the police chiefs during my tenure as editor: former police chief and current Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse, and former police chief Marc Nuno. Each of them expressed respect for the other to me; I recall Sheriff Dirkse having once described former police chief Nuno in an email as a good person and “a good cop.”
Chief Nuno served as a police officer for about 27 years, and as a training instructor for 20, during which time he received the “Outstanding Instructor Award” three times.
What I know of the chief was captured in a single phrase from the report: “my mindset is training.” In response to a later question, he said, “this is a life and death situation, this is what you are getting into their mindset.”
Reading the report, it seems that mistakes were probably made, by everyone involved. However, it is difficult for me to imagine that Chief Nuno would ever intentionally cross the line into impropriety while working with recruits, or at any other time. He stated that his focus in the situation was training, and there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was. Therein lies the reason the D.A.’s office declined to pursue charges: there was no criminal intent.
Nuno’s attorney in the second incident included in the article, Dan Farrar, has stated in a letter to the Irrigator: “Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Marc early in the case because there was no evidence to support the allegations. He did not engage in any misconduct and had no influence, at all, on how the Carillo investigation and prosecution was handled.”
Farrar also states: “anything can be alleged in a lawsuit without any basis in reality. Unfortunately… many take news reports of mere allegations as factual.” He concludes: “Just getting that off my chest in defense of a person that I have great respect for.”
I still have some challenge coins Chief Nuno gifted to me, one of which the Chief designed. They have a special place among the few items I have collected over 40-odd years of professional life.
I always found Chief Nuno to be professional in our interactions, both on and off the record, and remain proud of what we accomplished while we worked together. I wish him well in whatever the future holds for him.
Former editor, Patterson Irrigator
• This letter to the editor is reflective of the opinions of the author, not of the Patterson Irrigator editorial board. The letter from attorney Dan Fararr referenced herein was received by the Irrigator on Jan. 4, 2021.