Supervisor seeks to rebuild public trust
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 02/22/2011 10:00:03 PM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford on Tuesday convened her first meeting of her Ethics Advisory Working Group, which will work to restore public trust in county government through new policies and practices.

Members of the group hit on a few key topics during the inaugural meeting at Rutherford’s Rancho Cucamonga office, touching on what policies and systems of checks and balances the county has to crack down on improper conduct and what can be done to rebuild the a reputation tarnished by more than a decade of corrupt influence at the highest echelons of county government.

Some members of the group included former Assemblyman and Sen. Bill Leonard, whom Rutherford has previously worked for; former Sun and Daily Bulletin publisher Bob Balzer, now the director of capital fundraising at Cal Poly Pomona; and ex-Arrowhead Credit Union CEO Larry Sharp, now the vice president for university advancement at Cal State San Bernardino.

Other members included former Supervisor Dennis Hansberger, ex-Fontana Councilman and Police Chief Frank Scialdone, and Hillel Cohn, the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino.

Rutherford, who campaigned on a platform of restoring public trust in county government and weeding out corruption, has worked on assembling the group since taking office in December.

“The idea is to get a group of civic- minded people who have been involved in serving the residents of our county for a long time and to generate some ideas on policies and practices that can help county government operate more ethically and restore the public’s confidence in their officials and county government,” Rutherford said.

Hansberger said the voters and press are the best way to ensure a good system of checks and balances, but the press is now hindered by a lack of resources.

As for the voters, Hansberger said he “wished they would make it more difficult for politicians who do bad to stay in office.”

Redlands attorney and former Loma Linda Councilman Robert Ziprick said one of his observations is that the public, in general, doesn’t seem to be very civic-minded. He would like to see that change.

“I don’t know how you teach that,” Ziprick said.

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