January 12, 2011 9:35 AM
Natasha Lindstrom

Click here to read Neil Derry’s comments from the Board of Supervisors meeting.

SAN BERNARDINO • On a split vote, 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales was elected chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, moments after a fellow board member alleged that Gonzales is implicated in a scandal relating to an FBI raid last November at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. in Colton

Third District Supervisor Neil Derry slammed Gonzales, saying she embraces a “‘sweep it under the rug’ mentality” and he is worried about criminal charges being filed against Gonzales while she’s chair.

“I hope that these allegations are cleared, but with this cloud looming, it would be imprudent for anyone potentially involved to be elevated in leadership,” Derry said at the public meeting.

During her acceptance speech, Gonzales said such allegations “as of yet have no foundation.”

“And if for whatever matter they should, you have my solemn word I will be the first to be here and admit and claim my responsibility and pay for it,” she continued.

Derry alerted the FBI to possible malfeasance at ARMC last year. He shed some light on the ongoing investigation Tuesday, accusing both Gonzales and former County Administrative Officer Greg Uffer as being implicated in the federal investigation that allegedly involves county officials getting free health care at the county-owned hospital in Colton.

First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who represents the High Desert, was elected vice chairman of the board. Like Derry, he opposed Gonzales for chair, but Mitzelfelt clarified he didn’t oppose her for the same reasons. He had said he’d be the best choice for chair and that a “pecking order” shouldn’t dictate who fills the key role.

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