In this article we will take a close look at the destroy-at-all-cost targeting of San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and his Orange County-based political consultant David Ellis, owner of Delta Partners, LLC.

One thing is for certain. It’s becoming increasingly obvious Ramos’ agenda in his falsely-proclaimed never-ending quest to rid San Bernardino County of political corruption, and it definitely isn’t about fighting crime.

That agenda being, neutralize the county’s west-end political power base.

In our last article we discussed the Ramos/Ellis back-stabbing of two politicos. The two being Deputy District Attorney and former Ontario City Councilman Jason Anderson, a now former friend and client of Ellis and perceived threat to Ramos, and Patrick O’Reilly, CEO of Riverside-based O’Reilly Public Relations, and now former friend of Ellis.

The Mike Fermin/Mike Ramos/Jason Anderson Connection

Another element that played into the political demise of Jason Anderson is Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael Fermin.

In addition to being Ramos’ hand-picked heir-apparent. Fermin is also widely-known as Ramos’ proverbial “Bag Man”. Fermin puts out the fires and acts as the fixer when necessary. If there’s a dirty secret about Ramos, Fermin knows it all!

If you will remember, Fermin was the go between when Ramos had to reach out to former mistress Cheryl Ristow prior to their former relationship being public outed.

Not widely-known however is the tension and friction between Fermin and Anderson. Once again Anderson was perceived to have wanted Fermin’s future job, and nothing was going to stand in Fermin’s way.

The Rancho Alliance Investigation (A.K.A the 1200 Acres Investigation)

Here we have the District Attorney investigation into the Rancho Alliance proposal related to the right to entitle and become master developer of a 1200 acre parcel of land owned by the San Bernardino County Flood Control District. The property sits just north of Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga.

Rancho Alliance was one of several proposals submitted.

The proposed sale was cancelled last year.

The partnership at the time included Lewis Group of Companies, Diversified Pacific, Young Homes, and others.

Diversified is controlled by Jeff Burum. Lewis is controlled by the Lewis Family, specifically Randall and Richard Lewis.

The investigation has been centering around whether or not there was any undue influence by Rancho Alliance in gaining any advantage in the competitive process. Sources close to the investigation inside the District Attorney’s office, and people interviewed say that investigators have focused totally on Burum and Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez. Interestingly, some of the people interviewed by District Attorney Investigators say that when answers to questions involved the Lewis Group, the investigators immediately changed the line of questioning to a different subject.

In other words, investigators didn’t want to hear anything about the Lewis Group’s dialogue with any Rancho council members. It should be noted the Lewis Group is a staunch financial supporter of Ramos.

Investigators have quizzed County Supervisors and Rancho City Council members relentlessly. Asking the same questions over and over again.

The Crippling of the Leggio Family

Another former long-time friend and ally of Ramos and Ellis gets taken out at the knees.

Former Ramos ally and friend Mark Leggio gets tangled-up in campaign contribution limit issues involving the 65th Assembly District race in 2006.

The 65th A.D. overlaps both San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The Leggio contribution matter is brought to the attention of both Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco and Ramos.

Ramos side-steps the issue and recuses himself because of his relationship with Leggio, leaving him for Pacheco to slaughter. Pacheco holds an animus towards Leggio because of Leggio’s friendship with former State Senator and Assemblyman Jim Brulte. Pacheco would like to see Brulte burn at the political stake because of issues going back to assembly politics, and the fact that Brulte is alleged to have had Pacheco cut out of a potential state senate run through the redistricting process in 2001.

Ramos knows this but doesn’t care. Rather than referring the matter to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), Pacheco files more than 100 charges against Leggio and three employees of his families auto dealerships.

Ramos belatedly asks Attorney General Brown to intervene and all felonies against the men were dropped. Leggio pleads guilty to two dozen misdemeanors, serves work-release, and pays $150,000 in fines to the FPPC. His entire family and all employees are barred from making political contributions for three years.

Leggio and his family were repeatedly profiled in the newspapers and dragged through the mud. The end result misdemeanors.

Investigation into funding awarded to National Communities Renaissance

More recently, we now have District Attorney investigators probing the awarding of funds to affordable housing leader National Communities Renaissance (CORE). A national non-profit organization headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga.

The firm group was started by Jeff Burum as Southern California Housing. Burum takes no benefit from the non-profit.

The District Attorney is probing whether or not there was any undue influence in the Rancho Cucamonga City Council’s award of funding to CORE.

The District Attorney has subpoenaed notes from closed session meetings of the City Council. The city council is considering providing notes from 2005 to date.

The Neil Derry Factor

In  June 2008, comes the election of Neil Derry as Third District Supervisor. An unforeseen event.

District Attorney Mike Ramos, Retired Sheriff Gary Penrod, and Congressman Jerry Lewis, all cut radio spots designed to make ousted former five-term Supervisor Dennis Hansberger a lock for re-election.

Hansberger lost, dealing a devastating blow to the East Valley “Old Guard”. Derry was from San Bernardino, but the Redlands crowd has always decided who filled the Third District seat.

One main component behind Derry’ success was Jim Erwin, Derry’s former chief of staff and friend of Burum.

One non-factor was Jeff Burum. Burum had stayed out of the race. However, one of Burum’s business partners supported Hansberger.

Fast forward to December 2008. Ramos initiates an investigation into information provided by former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman, related to unreported gifts provided to Jim Erwin by Burum. Aleman was already charged with several felony offenses for falsifying evidence provided to the Grand Jury and destruction of government property.

In December 2008, Derry’s office is cool to various budget requests made by Ramos, and also initiates a review of take-home vehicle use by DA investigators.

In March 2009, Derry files a complaint with Ramos related to Hansberger ordering all of his district files destroyed before he left office. A felony under California law and violation of county policy signed by Hansberger himslef as Chairman of the Board.

No action is taken against Hansberger.

Erwin was eventually arrested in March 2009 for perjury and filing false documents and was re-arrested just this week.

This District Attorney knows know bounds when it comes to self-serving acts, and abusing his prosecutorial power is no problem. It’s time for the emergence of a true law enforcement DA, not a politician and political hack.



Interestingly enough, it would appear the only political heavy-hitters left standing in the West End part of the county left unscathed is the Lewis Family, who is strong supporters of Ramos.