By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Aug. 29, 2016 at 5:56 PM
San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor candidate Angela Valles’ lawsuit against a local wastewater agency promises to hang over head well past the November election, likely to stay active through the first half of her term should she defeat incumbent Robert Lovingood.
A joint status report filed Aug. 19 set the tentative trial date for Feb. 5, 2018. It’s a timeline that her attorney recently called “tricky” and “peculiar” and one that even Valles, the agency’s finance director, acknowledged Monday had the potential to be corroding to campaign efforts.
“It’s going to be a distraction and I believe Lovingood is going to twist it to his benefit,” she said, “and I need people to know this is happening because of his level of corruption in the county.”
Her claim against the current supervisor isn’t fresh; she has alleged she’s caught persistent blowback for accusing Lovingood of parlaying a seat on the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority — a seat belonging to the county, but that he hasn’t occupied — to further business interests.
Lovingood declined to comment Monday, but his previous response, repeated over the past two years, has stayed consistent: Valles’ allegations are political in nature and his role as co-owner of ICR Staffing Services, Inc. has never conflicted with his governmental job duties.
Last month, Valles’ attorney Jimmy Mettias said they were aware of the lawsuit’s potential to be dragged into the political fray, but he insisted “that’s not why she (filed).”
“I know that Angela wants to do what’s absolutely right for the people in terms of the election,” he said, “but I think this just shows she’s willing to stand up for what’s right in regards to corruption no mater where it is.”
The suit was filed last November, and Valles vowed the lengthy legal implications wouldn’t hamper in any way her efforts to be “the best representative for San Bernardino County (my constituents) ever had.”
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