Snake Oil

Sunday, June 8, 2014 – 12:30 p.m.

It just never ends!

William “Buck” Johns is back at it again.

The head of Newport Beach-based Inland Energy, who has a memorable history here, by way of his dealings with the city of Victorville, is back at it.

However, this time his target is the city of Adelanto.

Like a snake oil salesman from the old days, John’s, with business partner “Doctor Crants”, has a new scheme.

This time, Johns wants to build a private jail in Adelanto, which will in-turn, hold Los Angeles County inmates, at price of $88 per day, with a lease term of twenty years.

Adelanto officials, in previous press accounts, have said that any project will not require any money from the city.

So the big question here is where will the estimated price tag of $332 million come from?

  • Would any of the costs involve public or private debt?
  • Who would float the bonds?
  • Who would pay any debt service?
  • What would back any debt payment?

One can bet that no money would come out of  Johns pocketbook.

Let’s not forget the past, let’s say, questionable business ventures that Johns has been involved in, or proposed. They include the Desert Xpress, High Desert Power Project, Victorville 2 Power Plant, Foxborough power plant and EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Los Angeles County and Adelanto officials should exercise caution here.

Here’s a link to a story published in Sunday’s Victorville Daily Press: Developer: Adelanto jail would be boon to economy