Saturday, November 27, 2010 – 07:00 a.m.

At this point, San Bernardino County’s trumpeted ‘Sunshine Ordinance’, would appear to be nothing of the sort and this time the public was played for a fool.

The measure as drafted, was to provide for great transparency in county government and easier access to records, really fell flat on its face last week.

The short-lived ordinance hadn’t even been in effect for thirty days.

The county has once again taken the position that what it spends on individual litigation cases is confidential.

Not the actual billing statements, which is understandable, but the actual dollar amount.

The half-baked theory being is that should opposing parties find out ‘how much’ the county is spending on a particular case it could divulge some invisible legal strategy.

Yes that’s right. Only in San Bernardino County government could some bullshit excuse such as this one be concocted.

The decision isn’t surprising though coming from a county that for years has blown tens of millions of dollars due to shoddy legal advice.

Sources say a few months ago, just after outgoing county counsel Ruth Stringer was told to leave by county supervisors, Stringer attended a little get together with her staff. During this little pity-party Stringer apparently told her staff the ‘Sunshine Ordinance’ wasn’t really going to be enforced.

It now seems Stringer’s hand-picked successor John Basle will carry-on the long-held county tradition of obstructionism.

We’ll see how amused the voters are about being misled.

The board of supervisors failure to recruit for a new lead attorney may have been a huge mistake.