Sheriff Chad Bianco’s absence at Pride Parade called ‘disappointing’
PALM SPRINGS — As thousands of revelers lined Palm Canyon Drive on Sunday to celebrate the return of the 2021 Pride Parade, a high-profile personality was noticeably missing: Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco.
The sheriff told Uken Report that “previous obligations” prevented him from attending. He did not elaborate on those obligations.
On the flip side, newly appointed Police Chief Andrew Mills, whose first official day on the job is today, Nov. 8, walked the colorful parade route pressing the flesh with spectators.
“The sheriff’s non appearance at (Sunday’s) Pride events is not unexpected,” Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton told Uken Report. “It is disappointing.”
Middleton continued, “The Palm Springs community is dedicated to inclusion and respect. We would hope our Sheriff would join us in support of such universal values.”
Mayor Christy Holstege, who has called on Bianco to resign, did not return two requests for comment.
Bianco told Uken Report that, “Unfortunately my calendar is filled many months in advance. I don’t want this sounding bad, but I don’t ask to go anywhere and I don’t search out venues either. To be very honest, I had no idea there was going to be a Pride Parade this year, especially with how ridiculous Palm Springs is with restrictions. I know the outlying left (will) speak negative and try and use this against me because they say I only speak to conservative groups. NEVER has any left-leaning group asked me to participate. The Chief should have been there! He’s the new chief of police.”
One of the best times Denise, his wife, and he have had in the past seven years of campaigning for — and winning — the sheriff’s role has been the Pride Parade, Bianco said. Both Bianco and former Sheriff Stan Sniff walked in the parade in 2018. Both were campaigning for office that year.
“Unfortunately, I can’t be everywhere,” Bianco said. “I absolutely knew that haters would do what they do best because I wasn’t there. This is past the point of ridiculous. “Probably much different than my predecessor, I don’t search to fill my own calendar for political reasons or favor. I am overwhelmed with requests to speak at or attend events and (my executive assistant) is overwhelmed trying to manage them. Certainly not making excuses, it’s just my reality.”
Lead photo: Palm Springs Police Chief Andrew Mills.
- Police Chief Andrew Mills: Antonio Baciu - Facebook