Archive for April 28th, 2010

OCRegister: Heavy load grows heavier as $100,000 club membership swells

April 28th, 2010, 12:54 pm · posted by Teri Sforza, Register staff writer

We told you that membership in California’s $100,000-plus public pension club leaped by 50 percent over the last year.

But this heavy load will grow exponentially heavier, and the big picture is even more disturbing than that.

To illustrate, we do a little number crunching with Marcia Fritz, the CPA who is president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility (and who regularly updates the $100,000 club database with numbers from the California Public Employees Retirement System — the largest such system in the nation).

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SacBee: Unions fine-tuning Meg Whitman attack

The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
April 28, 2010

The California Labor Federation is about to launch a worksite flier blitz aimed at cementing Meg Whitman’s ties to the finance industry and exploiting the recent fraud charges leveled at bank holding company Goldman Sachs.

As we point out in today’s story about the Whitman/Goldman connection, she left the firm’s board five years before the 2007 events at the center of SEC fraud charges highlighted by yesterday’s Senate hearing.

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By PE Politics
on April 28, 2010 10:32 AM

Fontana Mayor Mark Nuaimi is slamming a re-election mailer sent out by San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane.

The mailer criticizes Fontana Councilwoman Janice Rutherford, one of Biane’s opponents in the June 8 election, for being a “big spender” and for going on a “reckless shopping spree with your $$$!”

It features Rutherford’s photo on a likeness of the Energizer Bunny but with “spending” written across the drum.

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Published April 27th, 2010

After subtracting refunds, income tax collections for April 27 were a net $521 million.

The Employment Development Department reported receiving $100 million in quarterly withholding payments.

The budget proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in January predicted income tax collections of $10.5 billion for April.

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Greg Devereaux

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI and DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

A state watchdog agency issued San Bernardino County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux a warning letter while finding that Supervisor Paul Biane violated no ethics rules over a private jet trip both accepted from a Rancho Cucamonga developer.

Both men accompanied Ray Crebs, a member of Colonies Partners, on a private flight in September 2008 to West Virginia. Devereaux, who took over as county administrator this February, was Ontario city manager at the time.

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RivPE: S.B. County land use services gets overhaul

10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino County’s land use services department will see major structural changes in response to a dramatic decline in permit applications.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $12.8 million decrease to the agency’s budget as part of the county’s third-quarter financial review.

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10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY and DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino schools have been operating under the federal government’s new transformation model for six years, even though they haven’t called it that, Superintendent Art Delgado said.

Federal and state laws require districts to choose one of four painful options by June 1 to fix 11 schools listed as persistently lowest-achieving: closing the school, converting it to a charter school, replacing the principal and at least half the staff, or replacing the principal and increasing instructional time, which the law calls the “transformation model.”

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RivPE: Documents related to bribery probe released

06:48 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise
Special Section: San Bernardino Co. Probe

Ending a standoff with state and local prosecutors, San Bernardino County supervisors agreed Tuesday to provide them with documents in the Colonies Partners legal settlement that is at the center of an extortion and bribery investigation.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-0, with Supervisors Paul Biane and Gary Ovitt not participating, to a limited waiver of its legal privilege a week after prosecutors threatened to take the county to court.

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DailyBulletin: Colonies partner disclosure lacking

Records show stake not reported
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 04/27/2010 08:52:26 PM PDT

Dan Richards, a co-managing partner of Rancho Cucamonga-based developer Colonies Partners LP, failed to report his interest in the company on state public-disclosure forms for 2007 and 2008, records show.

Richards, a commercial real estate broker appointed by the governor to the state Fish and Game Commission in February 2008, has been identified by state and local prosecutors as a co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to defraud San Bernardino County taxpayers by securing a $102 million legal settlement from the county in November 2006.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 04/27/2010 07:40:38 PM PDT

San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane and County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux responded Tuesday to findings from a state Fair Political Practices Commission investigation regarding a trip they took to West Virginia.

San Bernardino County prosecutors asked the FPPC on Jan. 11 to look into whether Devereaux and Biane properly reported the September 2008 trip on campaign finance and gift disclosure forms. The two flew on a private jet with Dan Richards, co-managing partner for Rancho Cucamonga-based developer Colonies Partners LP, and Ray Crebs, an investor in Colonies Partners.

The private jet the four flew on belongs to Crebs.

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April 27, 2010 3:01 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

SAN BERNARDINO • A week after State Attorney General Jerry Brown threatened to sue the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, three board members on Tuesday agreed to waive some of their attorney-client privileges to assist a wide-ranging corruption investigation.

“The board voted to approve a limited and restricted waiver of the attorney-client privilege to the District Attorney and the Attorney General’s office relative to the earlier litigation that culminated in a settlement agreement in November of 2006 … in the Colonies settlement matter,” County Counsel Ruth Stringer reported when the board emerged from closed session shortly after 2 p.m. “This waiver is restricted and limited to the prosecutors under California law and will only be used by the prosecutors in the criminal investigation and any resulting prosecutions.”

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/27/2010 07:13:06 PM PDT

As part of a new quarterly budget reporting system implemented in March, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a reorganization of the land use services department that includes the elimination of 62 vacant positions due to a $6 million budget shortfall discovered last summer.

The reorganization also includes the addition of a new assistant administrator position and the reclassification of two deputy directors to building official and program manager.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/27/2010 08:49:27 PM PDT

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to allow state and local prosecutors to examine confidential information from its litigation with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP to facilitate a corruption probe.
Board members Josie Gonzales, Brad Mitzelfelt and Neil Derry voted 3-0 in favor of a “limited and restricted waiver” of the supervisors’ attorney-client privilege, which will allow prosecutors to examine documents from the case file and interview attorneys retained by the county during the heated litigation.

Prosecutors first requested the waiver on March 12 and then threatened legal action last week after two meetings with County Counsel Ruth Stringer and two closed-session meetings of the Board of Supervisors failed to produce a resolution.

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State

April 27, 2010 | 4:12 pm

Chris Kelly, the former Facebook executive and current Democratic candidate for attorney general, announced depositing another $4 million of his own money into his campaign. The new infusion doubles Kelly’s total personal investment in the race to $8 million.

In recent weeks, Kelly’s campaign has taken a sharp tone in criticizing one of his primary opponents, San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris. The new money means Kelly could take that message to the airwaves via TV ads or pay to have it land it in voter mailboxes. “Politicians shouldn’t be graded on a curve,” he said in a recent interview.

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SacBee: Whitman’s ties to Goldman Sachs won’t go away

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2010 – 8:05 am

While Congress ripped into investment giant Goldman Sachs executives on Tuesday, the scandal threatened to tear the scab off a political wound in the California governor’s race.

Republican front-runner Meg Whitman tried again to put her prior relationship with the bank behind her, telling the Associated Press she regrets taking part in a now-banned stock sale practice involving the firm and that she left its board after 15 months because it “wasn’t a good fit.”

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By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they’re leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall. Even among Democrats, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, opinion is evenly divided on the question.

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