Leaders React To Sheriff Bianco’s Oath Keepers Membership

Nico Payne

As news broke of Sheriff Chad Bianco’s membership to an anti-government militia organization, some local political leaders in the Coachella Valley reacted strongly, now asking him to resign.

“I will not mandate a vaccine for our employees,” said Chad Bianco, Riverside County Sheriff from previous interviews.

Sheriff Bianco, who was elected to his post in 2018 has faced many controversial positions during his term.

“It’s a virus kind of like the flu, it’s when you are going to get the flu, and we hope that our immune system takes care of it when it happens,” added Bianco.

The latest being his membership to an extremist anti-government organization called the Oath Keepers.

And Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege says Bianco being a member is disturbing.

“We know that they’re a hate group, that their right-wing radical extremists, and so one I am concerned about his membership but more importantly I’m disturbed that Sheriff Bianco did not denounce this organization,” explained Holstege.

Bianco who was a member in 2014 told the Desert Sun that many other members of law enforcement were part of the group and after he learned the group did not offer him anything he decided not to continue his membership.

“He has made statements that he will not follow public health orders, that he will not enforce local ordinances and laws, that he himself gets to choose which laws to enforce, that’s not how government works,” added Holstege.

Holstege is asking for Bianco to denounce the oath keepers and other organizations alike and to resign before the end of his term in 2022.

Also focusing on how this could impact Riverside County residents.

“What does this mean for our residents of color? if you’re black in this community if you’re are LGBT in this community if you’re Jewish like I am in this community if you are some marginalized group that necessarily doesn’t feel safe with the riverside county sheriff department already because of history of racism in our society, how are we supposed to feel safe with the sheriff who represents hate groups, right-wing extremists,” said Holstege.

NBC Palm Springs did reach out to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for a statement, but they have yet to return our station’s request for comment.

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