Former San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman James Ramos

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/30/2012 05:26:19 PM PDT

View: Complaint

A complaint has been filed against San Bernardino County supervisor candidate and former San Manuel tribal chairman James Ramos, alleging that he failed to report his income and real property interests on state campaign disclosure forms.

The complaint, dated April 3 and received by the state Fair Political Practices Commission on April 12, alleges that Ramos failed to report on his form 700 Statement of Economic Interest a house he owns in Big Bear Lake and shares of stock in Pfizer Inc., a pharmaceutical company, and General Electric Co.

Ramos is also alleged to have failed to report his income as former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians while serving on the San Bernardino Community College District’s board of trustees. In addition, he is alleged to have not reported any income from his monthly tribal stipend, any ownership interest in the tribe’s affiliated holdings and any income or losses from his businesses, Yum Yum Restaurant and Pepito’s Restaurant, both in San Bernardino.

The FPPC typically decides within 14 days of receiving a complaint if it will investigate. As of Monday, a decision had not yet been made, said Tara Stock, legislative coordinator for the FPPC.

Ramos’ attorney Diane Fishburn said Monday that she has submitted a response to the complaint and that the FPPC should reach its decision by the end of the week.

Ramos has served on the college district’s board of trustees since 2005. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008 to the state Native American Heritage Commission, and also serves on the state Board of Education.

He said he has always abided by the letter of the law when filing his 700 forms.

“We have been totally compliant with the law. I’m confident we did everything correctly,” Ramos said, adding that his attorney vets the forms before they are filed to ensure full disclosure. “This is just another way for my opponent to throw something out there to see if anything sticks.”

Ramos is vying for the county’s 3rd District supervisorial seat held since 2008 by Neil Derry, who says Ramos is subject to the same reporting requirements as everyone else.

“The 700 form is a very clear document, and it states very clearly what needs to be reported,” Derry. said. “I think the public deserves to know where politicians derive their income.”

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