More questions continue to be raised regarding the recently released report into the conduct of District Attorney Michael Ramos and his department, involving a former mistress of Ramos.
I last focused on statements made to investigators by Ramos and the number of inconsistencies.
Now let’s look at the treatment of Investigative Technician Cheryl Ristow. Ristow had a 17-month long affair with Ramos in the 2003 to 2005 period of time.
Even though it would now appear it was more of a relationship of necessity and convenience for Ramos.
Wanna have sex? Just pick up the phone.
After all, Ramos is the DA.
Ristow, who throughout here county career had been a good employee, who had always received good evaluations ran into trouble in May 2009. Ristow was under some level of scrutiny for some of her work habits. Ristow had learned to overcome acting out under stressful situations early in her career. Well, maybe not the kind of stress she was placed under after an article was published in a local newspaper exposing multiple affairs and other sexual escapades of District Attorney Michael Ramos.
The problem with the article? One of the affairs with Ramos involved her and she had remarried since.
Can you say stress?
What happened after the articles release and the treatment of Ristow is what is commonly referred to in law enforcement circles as “being put on a program”.
A “program” is a tactic that is used on someone who has fallen out of grace with superiors. Instead of being given breaks and having issues overlooked, the person targeted is subjected to close scrutiny designed to ultimately imperil the persons job status.
In other words, no stone goes unturned. Wear the wrong color underwear. Write-up.
Looking at the exhibits and interviews from the investigation report in Ristow’s case, she wasn’t subjected to a “program”.
In Ristow’s case, she was subjected to a flame-thrower.
Even the investigating law firm of Curiale Hirschfeld Kraemer knew it. The only problem here? The law firm worked for and was paid by the county. The law firm was not hired to help Ristow, not to find the truth, but to help protect the county.
Anytime the investigation pointed to potential inappropriate conduct towards Ristow, it was conveniently explained away or minimized in report footnotes.
Ristow, unknown to her initially, had been targeted, and a paper trail was being developed at an astounding pace. The focus was now on Ristow, and the goal was to discredit her as fast as possible.
A good employee was made to look like a “piece of crap”. After all, who is going to believe a piece of crap employee.
Like Ramos said in his interview during the investigation, he became aware of Ristow’s performance issues after the article was published. Logic would dictate that if managers believed Ristow had a prior relationship with Ramos, then why didn’t Ristow’s performance come to Ramos’ attention sooner?
As a matter of fact, why would the performance of an investigative technician ever come to the attention of the District Attorney?
The only way Ristow could get away from the “flame-thrower” was to leave her job. See did.
Ramos has been using his offices prosecutorial and investigative powers in an attempt to discredit others. Now it appears he used internal resources to try and discredit a former mistress.
County supervisors do know more than what is in the report.
They know Ramos lied, and a lying District Attorney is a problem. They know about other escapades involving Ramos and others within the District Attorney’s office engaging with subordinates.
There is even sympathy for Ristow.
Ramos runs around attempting to spin his way out of one mess after another. Exhibiting no lack of arrogance by taking the “It’s only true if I say it is.” approach.
Well, people have heard the rumors they’ve suspected were true for a long time. Even in Ramos’ home town of Redlands the chatter runs rampant.
One thing common among the chatter? Ramos screws anything with a skirt and his wife doesn’t care.
Many people also wonder if Ramos even really cares about child prostitution or victims of sex crimes as he portrays.
A sad and pathetic situation to say the least. One that won’t go away anytime soon.