Money

San Bernardino County has paid out approxiamtely $200 million in legal settlements the past five years.

Friday, December 27, 2013 – 10:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 – 02:45 p.m.

InlandPolitics.com has been calling attention to millions of dollars in non-disclosed legal settlements paid out by San Bernardino County.

The public hasn’t a clue that a significant amount of their tax dollars is going to pay off plaintiffs in legal actions against the county for alleged wrongdoing.

Sources tell the blog that a local newspaper decided to make an inquiry of the county, and the information uncovered is shocking to say the least.

The amount of money paid out in settlements, over the past five years, is approximately $200 million.

The same source says the amount is pretty evenly split between Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) malpractice cases, and use of force settlements at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The disclosed information has been circulating for more than a month. Why it hasn’t went public is unknown.

Big dollar settlements paint an image of bad management decision-making, which in the political spectrum is not a good thing. So why not keep it all a secret. The better to sweep it under the rug, than let people know.

Can you imagine the political fodder this little gem can muster up during campaign season?

The county has been operating under a policy that if it approves a settlement and executes it first, and that offer is then legally executed by the plaintiff afterwards, then disclosure to the public is not required, because the settlement wasn’t officially final until the plaintiff signed it, long after the associated closed session completed.

The public hasn’t had a clue this has been going on.

One has to wonder how much additional money was spent in legal fees to lawyers.