February 13, 2010 – 3:53 PM
By Administrator

In iePolitics’ always-continuing quest to assist San Bernardino County administrators in balancing their budget, we have happened upon an obvious cost-cutting measure. We know that District Attorney Mike Ramos and Public Defender Doreen Boxer have already joined . . . um . . . forces, in a Biblical sense of course, so the next step only makes sense. It’s time to consolidate the two departments and allow District Attorney Ramos to have the final decision over all criminal proceedings in San Bernardino County.

“We can’t do that,” you say. Why not? Conflicts of interest do not seem to be of concern to anyone. Take for example, one of the most recent campaign contributions to Ramos of $10,000. That contribution brings the total to $83000 that the law affiliation of conflict panel attorneys James Spring and Earl Carter have given to Ramos since 2004 to support his re-election. This equates to 15 to 20 percent of all campaign contributions received in that same period. The conflict panel attorneys are Ramos’ single largest contributor.

San Bernardino County has one of the highest plea bargain rates in the state of California, which is a plus for conflict panel attorneys as they are paid a flat rate and plea bargains represent the least amount of work for the contract amount. The District Attorney gets his high conviction rate and the county saves on indigent defense. The only losers in all of this are their clients who may have been falsely accused, not that a district attorney of such high integrity as Mike Ramos would ever do such a thing.

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