Wednesday, November 16, 2011 – 10:30 a.m.

It’s been more than eleven months since former San Bernardino County Counsel Ruth Stringer supposedly retired from her position.

However, the puzzling issue at hand is the fact that Stringer’s name hasn’t appeared on the retirement roll at the county’s pension fund.

If Stringer rightfully retired. Then so be it.

Maybe Stringer’s using an alias. That would explain it!

However, if Stringer was forced from her position by county supervisors for malfeasance, incompetence, or breach of attorney-client privilege, and given a settlement of either a one year severance package or allowed to exhaust one year or more of accrued leave, then the public has a right to know the terms and cost.

Not the reasons surrounding her departure.

First, per county ordinance, Stringer, who was employed “at-will”, was entitled to a one year severance package in the event she was dismissed without cause.

Second, at the time, Stringer said she was retiring based on her own decision and not forced out.

And third, if Stringer was forced out for cause, then why did she receive a severance not provided for under county ordinance.

More importantly, the type and form of severance granted to a public employee is a matter of public record, and disclosure by the county, at the time, was mandatory.

A legal fact the county never seems to learn.

Stringer, by all calculations, is entitled to a pension north of $275,000 per year. So it’s not even plausible that Stringer doesn’t need or wouldn’t want the dough.

The question needs answering.