By Jeff Horseman / Staff Reporter
Published: March 21, 2017 – Updated: 10:09 p.m.

A 17-year senior prosecutor in the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office is challenging his boss’s re-election bid in 2018.

John Thomas announced his campaign for district attorney Monday, March 20. He will run against District Attorney Mike Ramos, who has served as the county’s top prosecutor for 15 years.

“The current elected district attorney is an absentee district attorney and career politician,” Thomas said in a written statement. “Mike Ramos is more concerned about his own political agenda and career than the job the voters of this county elected him to perform. The time for change is here and now.”

In a telephone interview, Thomas said Ramos and one of his senior attorneys traveled the country – Washington, D.C., Hawaii, New Orleans and Chicago, among other destinations – at taxpayer expense while serving as board members for the National District Attorneys Association. Ramos is president of the association.

Via telephone, Ramos defended his work in the association and that of Chief Deputy District Attorney Ashley Parker. Other district attorney offices nationwide look to San Bernardino County as a model for prosecuting human trafficking and crimes against children, Ramos said.

This is a democratic society and if people feel they can run and do a better job, I think that’s what makes the whole system great,” Ramos said. “It’s too bad. It’s one thing to attack me but it’s too bad they need to attack the excellent staff I have.”

Thomas, a Notre Dame Law School graduate, helped create a countywide Cold Case Homicide Unit in conjunction with the county Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies in 2008. While with the cold case unit, Thomas prosecuted 50 defendants for homicides.

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