A local San Bernardino Certified Public Accountant probably regrets hooking his wagon to District Attorney Michael Ramos.
CPA Marvin Reiter signed on as Ramos’ official campaign treasurer and now suffers the potential consequences of his decision.
Ramos has proven that once you tie your destiny to his wishes, you either go along or pay a price. This time it’s Reiter who’s on the hook.
As published at iepolitics.com and on this blog, Sharon Gilbert filed a complaint against Ramos with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) over a month ago. That complaint alleged Ramos used campaign funds for personal use.
What triggered the complaint is the fact that Reiter listed just under $13,000.00 in credit card charges by Ramos on his FPPC Form 460 Campaign Finance Disclosure Statement for the period 07/01/2009 through 12/31/2009. The statement indicated all charges by Ramos were each under the $100.00 threshold, which would avoid the requirement for individual itemization.
Signing under penalty of perjury, Ramos and Reiter reported Ramos as having made in excess of 130 individual credit card transactions related to a campaign or governmental related activity; that all charges in questions were incurred on only two separate bills during the period; and each charge was less than $100.00.
A highly dubious assertion to say the least. The complaint further alleges the evidence makes a strong “prima facie” case that Ramos may have used campaign funds for personal use and intentionally charged below the $100 threshold to avoid detection.
The initial response by the FPPC to Gilbert’s complaint was in the form of a letter stating the commission would contact Ramos and Reiter for information.
A second letter from the commission to Gilbert dated May 18, 2010 announced the commencement of an investigation.
Reiter recently concluded several years of service as a member of the San Bernardino County Board of Retirement, otherwise known as the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA). Reiter was not reappointed by county supervisors.
Another Ramos confidant, David Ellis owner of Orange County-based Delta Partners LLC and The David Ellis Group, has ties to SBCERA by way of a consulting arrangement.
Ellis has a $60,000 no-bid contract to provide consulting and marketing services to the pension fund.