Chas Kelley arrested by investigators.

By William Cutting
Saturday, November 9, 2013 – 08:15 p.m.

As many of you know, long time San Bernardino Councilman Chas Kelley was forced to drop out of the mayoral campaign and resigned his office after it came out that he had been paying his wife thousands of dollars and using campaign funds for personal expenses.  Though I do not recall seeing any itemization of where these funds went, numerous articles in the press have reported the figure approached $75,000.  He is slated to be sentenced to 90 days in jail (to be served on weekends).

Reports have suggested that officials were tipped off to Kelley’s siphoning of campaign funds by City Attorney Jim Penman:

The timeline of the district attorney’s case lines up with an investigation of Kelley and others that the City Attorney’s Office handed off to the district attorney in September 2011, which stemmed from allegations involving the Verdemont Community Center, City Attorney James F. Penman said.

That investigation was far from complete when it was given to the district attorney, Penman said.

“It did involve allegations that Mr. Kelley was using funds that were not his to use for personal use,” Penman said. “I was not surprised that he pled guilty today and I was not surprised at the charge he pled guilty to.”

What is interesting is that Chas Kelley has for the most part, voted similarly to now recalled Councilwoman Wendy McCammack.  While it would be unfair to say that they voted in lockstep, it would also be fair to say that many people viewed Kelley has a Penman pawn or puppet.

Clearly, Kelley fell out of favor with Penman and that is likely attributed to the fact that many perceived Kelley to be a front-runner in the race to be the next mayor.  A seat that Penman’s staunch political ally Wendy McCammack coveted.  No doubt, Penman and McCammack drooled over the prospect of controlling the city attorney and mayoral offices.

Interestingly, word is circulating in San Berdoo circles that Wendy McCammack herself played a role in bringing on the investigation and demise of Chas Kelley. While no specific details are available to report, our sources confirm that Kelley supporters are suggesting as such.

Of course, there is delicious irony in the notion that Penman and McCammack allegedly dropped the dime on Kelley to clear Wendy’s path to the mayor’s office  only to watch them both get recalled themselves.  Though McCammack is in the run-off for mayor, she has about a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this election.  Not unless Penman has some dirt on her opponent…