The first tidbits of information are already surfacing in the now completed investigation report into alleged misconduct by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.
And it isn’t good.
The findings of an investigation conducted by the Santa Monica law firm of Curiale Hirschfeld and Kraemer commissioned by county supervisors at a cost of $140,000 have been delivered to county officials, who have started their review as they prepare to present the matter to county supervisors and the public.
Ramos, who has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing or impropriety has called allegations made against him as being politically motivated.
However, it appears Ramos had only had three options in the matter. The first option, come clean and tell the truth; the second option, say nothing; and the third and final option, lie and deceive.
Ramos apparently chose the third option. That option being to lie and deceive.
An unfortunate lapse in judgement for an elected District attorney and officer of the court.
The instant investigation stemmed from a complaint made by Cheryl Ristow, an Investigative Technician in the District Attorney’s office. Ristow at the time claimed to have had a 17 month affair with Ramos, who was and still is married. Ristow was divorced at the time, but has since remarried.
Sources close to the investigation say that when attorney-investigators questioned Ramos regarding his having any personal relationship with Ristow that Ramos denied any relationship outside of normal work contact.
Following Ramos’ denial, investigators confronted Ramos with copies of county-paid cell phone bills, which unfortunately for the DA indicated numerous calls between Ramos and Ristow for an extended period of time.
The investigators asked for an explanation. Ramos told investigators that he had attempted to help Ristow’s daughter get into a school and thus the reason for all of the calls.
The only problem? Ristow’s daughter at the time in question was in her 20’s and had graduated school years prior.
Ristow also produced notes in Ramos’ handwriting from where the DA had given her his cell phone number on more than one occasion.
A journal was also turned over.
In other words Ramos had misled investigators.
When you have a 200-page investigation report with exhibits, it’s not a harbinger of good things to come. It’s usually not customary to use exhibits to proclaim some one’s innocence, nor does it take this many pages to say as much.
Now it seems Ramos was untruthful to county supervisors, his employees, who apparently knew of the escapades, and the public.
Ramos called the now victim a liar in public and accused his political enemies and targets of orchestrating the allegations.
The single incident listed in this story is just a tidbit of what is likely contained in the voluminous report. One can only imagine what else is in the document.
Ramos is not only the elected District Attorney, he’s an officer of the court. A place where credibility is paramount.
When a peace officer, prosecutor, or defense attorney, is caught up in matters affecting their own credibility, they are either fired, prosecuted, disbarred, or any combination therein.
The chatter was hot and heavy in Ramos’ home city of Redlands last evening. Insiders and Ramos loyalists were describing the investigative report as “devastating”.
What is so disheartening is that Ramos achieved something special in this county. He is the first Latino elected District Attorney in our county. A significant accomplishment and milestone. Ramos’ prominence with in the Republican Party was also climbing and he was even spoken highly of as a candidate for congress.
It will be interesting to see if pressure mounts on county supervisors to sequester the report and its findings.
Regardless, for Ramos the situation appears to be growing more problematic.