San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman

Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/08/2011 11:59:44 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO — City Attorney James F. Penman held on tight to win his race against challenger David McKenna on Election Day.

He took 52.17 percent of the 10,438 votes, according to the Office of the Registrar of Voters.

“I feel very vindicated,” Penman said from his election night party at The Gourmet restaurant on East Highland Avenue.

Penman attributed the close race to late-campaign maneuvers from his political opponents, including 4th Ward Councilman Fred Shorett.

Shorett, along with council members Rikke Van Johnson and Virginia Marquez last week held a news conference to call for outside agencies to investigate Penman for possible corruption after Public Works Director Nadeem Majaj accused Penman of threatening to have his car and home raided.

Majaj’s accusations stem from an Oct. 5 meeting at which he said Penman threatened him over a police report about allegations that Majaj’s predecessor showed favoritism to Matich Corp., a major asphalt producer and a contributor to Penman’s campaigns.

“They are disgusting people, the lies they told and the press conference they had,” Penman said.

The press conference was a bookend to an often-heated political campaign.

McKenna, a former San Bernardino County supervisor and public defender, characterized Penman as a city attorney who is “obsessed” with opposing anything supported by Mayor Pat Morris.

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