Friday, February 11, 2011 – 10:15 a.m.

The pot is stirring this Friday morning.

Looks like the public pension fund for San Bernardino County is coming under intense scrutiny by a local newspaper and others. has learned the Press Enterprise newspaper is digging into the goings on at the San Bernardino County Employees Retirement System (SBCERA) and they’re likely to strike gold if they look hard enough.

The newspaper has submitted public records requests for the statements of economic interests, known as Form 700, for all current and certain former elected and appointed trustees, including retired Treasurer-Tax Collector Dick Larsen, and former Trustee Marvin Reiter.

Reiter is a San Bernardino-based Certified Public Accountant and Treasurer of Ramos’ campaign committee.

Also under scrutiny is “no-bid” contracts and amendments the pension fund entered into with Orange County-based Delta Partners, LLC and Sacramento-based Platinum Advisors.

Delta Partners is owned by David Ellis, a political consultant, whose clients include or have included, District Attorney Michael Ramos, Larsen, Yucaipa Valley Water, and Newport Beach-based Inland Energy.

Platinum Advisors is owned by Lobbyist Darius Anderson, a player in Sacramento democratic circles. Anderson recently settled charges leveled against his Gold Bridge Capital operation stemming from the practice of steering public pension funds to investment managers.

Anderson paid $550,000 to the New York Attorney General without admitting liability. The State of California and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is still investigating Anderson.

Platinum’s main link to San Bernardino County is through former State Assemblyman Brett Granlund. Granlund has been employed by Platinum for more than then years and his close friendship with Ramos, Ellis and Larsen is widely-known in the San Bernardino Valley.

Granlund’s brother, Bruce Granlund, and ex-wife, Lonnie Granlund, are elected board members of the Yucaipa Valley Water District.

Platinum and Delta Partners have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from the three public agencies.

The president of Inland Energy is William “Buck” Johns, who is known for his political and business dealings with the City of Victorville and its failed Victorville Two power plant project.

Johns is rumored to be trying to expand his political influence into the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

Larsen helped usher a contract approval for Delta Partners with SBCERA. Delta Partners, a firm with no investment marketing background or securities and lobbying registration, was hired to market the pension fund as a money manager to other municipalities and special districts.

An unqualified contractor marketing a pension fund ranked in the bottom ten percent of all pension funds as a money manager to other public entities?

Retirement Board trustee Ellen Weisser, the pension funds current chair, currently sits without reappointment and now serves at the pleasure of county supervisors subject to dismissal. Her last term expired in December 2010, and as of yet she has not been submitted for reappointment by Third District Supervisor Neil Derry.

Expect a change here.

The dots are being connected. Question are being asked.

And it’s not just newspapers doing the asking.