If mistake, says he will correct it
Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 04/27/2011 09:36:16 PM PDT

San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry reacted Wednesday to state charges that he laundered a campaign contribution, saying that if he made a mistake, he’ll correct it.

Derry, who campaigned for the 3rd District supervisorial seat in 2008 on a platform of restoring public trust in county government, admitted to laundering a $5,000 campaign contribution from a Highland developer through a political action committee controlled by former county Assessor Bill Postmus, according to a state Department of Justice declaration filed in support of the criminal complaint Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Derry met with his attorney, who he would not identify, Wednesday afternoon to discuss the situation, then issued a statement. He has declined requests for interviews since the allegations surfaced Tuesday.

“I have always tried to comply with the reporting requirements for my campaigns. If I made a mistake I will correct it,” Derry said in his statement. “I was not informed of this supposed error before I received the (criminal) complaint, however, and have not been given the opportunity to voluntarily correct any mistake.”

He said in the statement that as soon as he can review the facts of the case with his campaign treasurer and attorney, he will take whatever action they advise.

“Until that time I cannot make any further comment,” Derry said.

Prosecutors have charged Derry with one felony count of perjury, one felony count of offering a false or forged document, and one misdemeanor count of failing to report a campaign contribution.

According to the declaration by state Department of Justice Special Agent Shannon Williams, Derry suggested to Highland developer Arnold Stubblefield that Stubblefield write a $5,000 check, intended for Derry, and make it payable to Postmus’ political action committee, the Inland Empire PAC. In turn, the political action committee would contribute the money to Derry’s campaign.

A $5,000 check from Stubblefield’s company, Highland Town Shops, was deposited into the Inland Empire PAC account on June 25, 2007. On June 30, 2007, a $10,000 check from Inland Empire PAC was deposited into Derry’s campaign account, according to Williams’ declaration.

Derry never reported Stubblefield’s contribution on his campaign disclosure forms, prosecutors allege.

Stubblefield could not be reached for comment.

Derry’s future on the Board of Supervisors remained unclear Wednesday, but his chief of staff, George Watson, said Derry had no intention of resigning.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzales said Wednesday that the board will meet in closed session to discuss the Derry situation and how it may impact the county if it becomes necessary.

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