Susan Vaccaro
November 18, 2009

The Board of Supervisors approved an increase in the contract with the law firm of Curiale Hirschfield Kraemer yesterday. The amount was increased from $75,000 to $140,000.

What is the contract for you ask? To pay for an investigation into misconduct of San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

This time it’s Ramos’ zipper that has the county paying out six figures to attorneys to investigate him, his office, their conduct. A complaint made by one of Ramos’ ex-mistresses from inside his department is on its way to costing taxpayers even more down the road, when a settlement is reached with the victim.

That’s right, victim!

The allegations against Ramos are going to be substantiated without a doubt and the public will find out the details. You can bank on it!

With a cadre of other alleged former conquests hanging out in the wings, who knows just how much all of Ramos’ escapades will cost. Even the Sun newspaper (a.k.a. ‘The Ramos Protectors”) treated the DA to a banner headline in yesterday’s edition that I’m sure didn’t make Ramos’ day. Could the view of Sun editor Frank Pine be slightly shifting away from Ramos? Only time will tell.

Combine Ramos’ zipper episode with his firing of prosecutor Grover Merritt a few years ago and the revised tab on the taxpayer dime now sits at more than $440,000. Ramos fired Merritt a while back because Ramos heard that Merritt might make a run for District Attorney in 2006. Ramos couldn’t understand that. How dare Merritt even think about opposing his “Greatness”. So Ramos manufactured a nice little reason to discharge Merritt.

Merritt sued Ramos and the county in U.S. District Court.

On the eve of Ramos being deposed in the lawsuit, Ramos went to the Board of Supervisors in closed session and what is described as “begged” the board to settle the case. One has to wonder what Ramos was afraid of being asked under oath. Merritt eventually settled for $300,000 and the Civil Service Commission granted him full reinstatement to his previous assignment.

The $440,000 doesn’t even include what the county spent in legal fees on the Merritt case.

In this mornings Press Enterprise District Attorney Spokesperson Susan Mickey says Ramos is fully cooperating.

Does anyone really believe that?