On Tuesday, at least three of the five of you are expected to darn near make history in this county. It’s been a long time in the making. And there is a good reason for that, it being a long time in the making, that is. Her name is Ruth Stringer, your trusted legal counsel.
The change you will be making should have been made long ago. Had it been done a year ago, likely most of you would have had a less tumultuous year, even if you don’t know it. Let’s just say “subterfuge” has been a key term for the past year.
And Ruth Stringer has been a key player in this subterfuge. Think of the grief she has caused some of you.
* How many of you were interrogated by the good cop/bad cop team from Ramos’ office and made to feel that even though you had done nothing wrong you could be charged criminally? That was Ruth who narc’d you off to her buddy Mike Ramos.
* How many of you spent good money hiring criminal defense attorneys “just in case”? Again, that was due to Ruth.
* How many of you are about to be sued personally as a result of the botched Assessor’s Office investigation? Oops. Ruth again.
* How many of you realize it was Ruth that was behind the burning of Jeff Burum? How many of you had to spend time testifying before the Grand Jury? Again, that is because Ruth was given information about a situation that needed to be corrected and instead of providing the Board of Supervisors with sage legal counsel so that it could be corrected, she went behind your backs and got a criminal investigation started. The problem was that since she is not a criminal lawyer she did not realize no crime had been committed. So how much taxpayer money was wasted on that one? And how much credibility has this county lost with the business community because of that whole debacle?
* Any of you ever ask Ruth why she did not stop you from adding Jim Erwin to the civil complaint? Has that one backfired on all of you or what?
* Did Ruth ever bother to tell all of you that if Bill Postmus’ staff committed time card fraud, then so did many of your staff members? So if Bill is being sued, maybe you should be too? And criminally charged? But as stated above, she knows nothing about criminal law. Otherwise, she would know that no criminal act was committed. Therefore, there should have been no lawsuits filed.
* Have you given any thought to what it would be like for the Board of Supervisors to once again be respected by line staff?
* Don’t you think that if you actually took care of the two biggest problems in San Bernardino County government in the same day, maybe some of those other almost-at-the-edge administrative types would take notice and get back in line, retire, or resign?
Honestly, what do you have to lose by making Tuesday a “two-fer”? No one is going to shed a tear over Ruth’s departure. There is at least one excellent private sector attorney chomping at the bit to apply for the job. I know you all know him and respect him. He has an excellent reputation in the community; he’s not known as a “settlement specialist;” and he has even been inside a courtroom.
When you all are sued over the civil and criminal Assessor’s Office and District Attorney’s Office scandals, who do you want defending you? Someone who has actually argued a case in a court of law, and maybe even won one or two, or Ruth? Yeah, I know. She’ll win it in court for you. And a $102 million later . . ..