Monday, September 30, 2013 – 09:00 a.m.

A veteran prosecutor announced, via press release this morning, that he will challenge three-term incumbent San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos in June.

Grover Merritt, the former head of the San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association, previously considered a run against Ramos in 2006.

An idea that was met with a pink slip!

Now Merritt has decided the time has come to seek Ramos’ ouster.

Citing an escalating crime rate, the abuse of the plea bargain process in resolving criminal cases, and bad office morale, as key driver’s behind his candidacy, Merritt believes it’s time the county had a District Attorney, who places prosecuting crimes over political considerations.

Merritt, a graduate of Marquette University Law School, who was named prosecutor of the year in 2002, says rampant cronyism has devastated morale among prosecutors. Prosecutor’s, who are afraid to speak out against Ramos, for fear of retaliation.

“The incumbent District Attorney has failed the residents of San Bernardino County,” continued Merritt.

“Crime has risen significantly on his watch. Office morale among prosecutors is at an all time low. Gang crime is exploding. Mr. Ramos spends his time cavorting with politicians and attending conferences while criminal cases go unprosecuted and plea bargaining becomes epidemic.”

A prime example of Ramos’ vindictiveness? Ramos fired Merritt eight years ago, when Merritt was considering a run against him. Merritt ultimately sued Ramos, and San Bernardino County, winning back his job, in addition to a settlement of just under $300,000.