Monday, April 2, 2018 – 08:00 a.m.
The San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association (SBCPAA) has been hijacked by rogue leadership and the rank and file members are furious according to multiple sources inside the union. It is well known in local political circles that the public defenders that make up slightly less than half of the population of the SBCPAA loath District Attorney Mike Ramos and that a vast majority of the rank and file deputy district attorneys also feel very negatively about Mike Ramos, so it came as a surprise when it was announced that the union had endorsed Mike Ramos for reelection. Recent investigative reporting has uncovered why. The membership was never asked who they wished to endorse, if at all, in the district attorney race.
Incumbent and embattled District Attorney Mike Ramos is facing his first real challenger ever in 17 year veteran deputy district attorney Jason Anderson. While Ramos has been dogged for years by rumors of sexual impropriety (that has led the republican party to disavow him) and recently had the crushing defeat in the Colonies case, where the office he oversees spent north of 50 million dollars by some estimates in a miserably failed prosecution that jury members who heard the months long case said should never have been brought. Anderson brings a clean record and previous electoral success having been elected a city council member in Ontario.
The popular Anderson has attracted early campaign donations from private and public attorneys as well as retired judges and has the support of a locally-funded pro-business group political action committee.
Given the tough nature and likely losing prospects for Ramos, the prudent course for a union whose membership in large part depends on the District Attorney’s support for their caseloads, pay and benefits would stay neutral and out of the line of fire of the incoming new boss. But that is not what the current leader of the union Doug Poston has decreed.
Poston who took the job from the previous well-liked leader of the organization, Mike Abacherli, by frightening members about the spending of resources during Abacherli’s tenure is now poised to spend money lavishly on a likely loser in Mike Ramos. That he strong-armed the board in a closed meeting to endorse Ramos, a board that he purged of members that were not loyal to him in a communist-dictator like fashion shortly after he assumed power.
One member that spoke on condition of anonymity said, The board met and without consulting the membership at all in a closed session led by Poston, and without some board members present, were pressured by him to endorse Ramos because he got them a 3 percent raise from Ramos is ironic because that raise was negotiated previous to his leadership of the organization.
Poston does not have a good history of spending the union’s money as he urged support and got it for Supervisor Janice Rutherford in the past when he held leadership of the Union PAC. Rutherford, in one of her first critical votes as a Supervisor voted to impose a cost-cutting and unpopular contract on the attorneys. The membership believed Rutherford was likely going to be targeted for removal by the SBCPAA board, but instead it appears they are poised to financially support her after endorsing her and taking a high-profile position at her lavish campaign kick-off over the weekend at the Auto-Club Speedway NASCAR event. Poston it seems does not learn from his mistakes.
Rutherford is facing a nearly impossible challenge to her reelection as she faces a popular and much better funded challenger in Mark Steinorth who currently serves in the assembly. Steinorth has approximately two times as much campaign funds on hand as Rutherford and also has the support of significant outside groups and political action committees that are poised to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to see Rutherford booted from office.
Another deputy district attorney said the rank and file is not being consulted and would lose their minds if they were aware of what Poston is doing. The vast majority of union members can’t stand Rutherford or Ramos.
The reason members desire to remain anonymous is that they fear reprisals if they go public against the district attorney or Poston.
Mike Ramos rewards women for having sex with him with promotions and attacks the careers of people who oppose him. Go ask Grover Merritt how things are working out for him at the office after he opposed Ramos for reelection.
Another member said. People also fear that “anyone who opposes Ramos will be kicked out of the union by Poston and his toadies on the board leaving the without representation and then when they are disciplined on some phony accusation by Ramos or Gardner they will be faced with having to pay huge legal bills to defend themselves.”
Why Poston would lead the union down a rat hole by supporting two likely losers that will put the union in a terrible position when it comes to negotiating for pay and benefits is unknown. But one source summed it up this way.
“Doug is a creature of Ramos, he must have been promised something.”