The Sentinel

By Mark Gutglueck
Posted on November 7, 2014

(November 4) — The County of San Bernardino has extended its long running contract with its state legislative lobbyist for another year.

Platinum Advisors, which has offices in Sacramento, San Francisco and Orange County, will be paid $218,400 between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 for the provision of state legislative advocacy services.

Josh Candelaria, the county’s director of governmental and legislative affairs, in a report to the board of supervisors dated November 4, proposed that the county remain with the lobbying firm it has been using for over a decade.

According to Candelaria, “The County of San Bernardino utilizes advocacy services at both the federal and state level to advance the County’s legislative agenda. The recommended amendment will extend the contract with Platinum Advisors for the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, at an annual cost of $218,400. Platinum Advisors is a full service government affairs firm with over 16 years’ experience lobbying the California Legislature and executive branch. Effective representation with state administration, agencies, departments, and associations is critical to ensure the county’s legislative agenda is advanced. Platinum Advisors will assist in implementing the Countywide Vision through an effective state advocacy strategy which will allow the county to improve county operations and operate in a fiscally-responsible manner by increasing funding opportunities and influencing state law and policies as they relate to county priorities, programs and operations.”

As the result of a competitive process, on November 15, 2011 the board of supervisors approved Contract No. 11-863 with Platinum Advisors to provide state legislative advocacy services for the period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014. Approval of this recommended action will exercise the first of two options, extending the term through December 31, 2015. Per county policy, all contracts for services (including purchase orders) in excess of $100,000 and/or the contract term exceeding three years must be approved by the board of supervisors.”

There has been some degree of controversy with regard to the county’s relationship with Platinum Advisors. Among those it employs is Brett Granlund, a 1972 graduate of Yucaipa High School who previously represented the Yucaipa/Mentone/Redlands area in the State Assembly.

In 2007, Los Angeles-based attorney Leonard Gumport at the county’s behest investigated the county’s acquisition of the Adelanto jail, making a finding that Granlund and Platinum Advisors, violated the terms of the county’s contract with Platinum by engaging in a conflict of interest and failing to give the county prior written notification of Platinum’s clients. One of those clients was Maranatha Corrections LLC, which is owned by Terry Moreland. Platinum, through Granlund, solicited the county to enter into a $43 million lease and option to purchase the Maranatha Prison in Adelanto, which was owned by Maranatha Corrections/Moreland.

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