Saturday, January 21, 2012 – 06:15 p.m.
The highway funding arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation has cleared San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor Neil Derry to resume voting on federally-funded expenditures in his duties as an elected official.
The Federal Highway Administration gave Derry the green light effective Friday.
Derry lost his voting authority last year after he was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor for failing to properly report a single $5,000 campaign contribution.
The charges arose when Derry fell prey to San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, who pushed a politically-motivated investigation of Derry to the state Attorney General’s office with a request that Derry be charged.
Former Senior Assistant Attorney General, and Ramos friend, Gary Schons agreed.
A move designed to hurt Derry’s reelection bid and assist Ramos’ friend and political ally James Ramos.
Ramos, a life-long democrat and chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, is trying to unseat Derry in June.
However, a San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge saw through the sham and forced the dismissal of both felonies and refused to strip Derry of his right to hold office and seek reelection.
Confidential sources say Ramos’ own campaign polling shows the legal blow leveled against Derry has had little effect on his positive name identification with voters.
The fed move officially closes the door on the matter.