Jim Penman

San Bernardino City Attorney James F. Penman

Point of View

James F. Penman
Posted: 07/27/2013 06:54:11 PM PDT

A public office is a public trust and misrepresenting the facts to the public is one of the worst acts a public official can commit.

On Aug. 23, 2010, I advised the City Council that the budget they had just adopted put us into bankruptcy. I urged them to reverse their decision. Instead, the public was told I was “lying” and “grandstanding.”

On the next budget resolution, June 30, 2011, I wrote, “decline to sign. The Mayor and Council majority know this budget is not balanced … .” I was called an “alarmist” and a “liar.”

The city filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 1, 2012, indisputably proving that I had told the truth.

This was not the first time. In 1995, with encouragement from then-Mayor Tom Minor, I publicly advised the council that “three, maybe four council members are on the take.”

I was promptly called a “liar.”

At the direction of Mayor Minor, when immediate prosecution was thwarted, I publicly presented the council with some information from our criminal investigations. The suspects lost their re-election attempts.

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