It's a tentative ruling, but basically, it says Fresno County controls the resources... The Sheriff controls the jail.
Judge Mark Snauffer made the order Tuesday.
The ruling concludes that public safety is a shared responsibility between the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff.
Henry Perea, County Vice Chair: "I think the issue here was a budgetary issue."
The ruling cites the Sheriff's concerns, she calls "Four active controversies."
One is whether the Board may manage the expenditure of her funds.
Two is whether supervisors may adjust the number of Sheriff's Department positions.
Three is whether they can issue or rescind layoffs in her office.
Four is whether the Board can direct certain actions with respect to the jail... Something the county wanted in order to limit those early inmate releases.
Perea: "20,000 prisoners released later, a judge says, no board, you did have an absolute right to make some decisions with respect to which positions you're going to fund."
Judge Snauffer's ruling does state that the board can "budget and allocate by position, and the sheriff must deal with those decisions."
But "Once those positions are budgeted and allocated, the Sheriff retains the authority to deploy employees as she sees fit."
However, the sheriff does remain accountable to the board in how she manages those resources.
Perea: "We're not going to tell the sheriff how to deploy her resources. That's her responsibility and we don't want to get into that. We just want to say, if we give you a million dollars to do X, we expect X to be done."
County Vice Chair Henry Perea is happy with Judge Snauffer's ruling, and says it solidifies the county's authority.
But Sheriff Mims' attorney, Martin Mayer, tells KSEE24 News the ruling is clear...
The Sheriff's Office is the county's responsibility, but the jail is the Sheriff's.
Supervisors say this lawsuit between the Board and the Sheriff has cost taxpayers $300,000 so far...
Again, it's a tentative ruling, both the Board and Sheriff have 10 days to express any issues with the ruling before it becomes final.
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will discuss the ruling in closed session during next Tuesday's meeting.