Tuesday, April 17, 2018 – 09:30 a.m.
Members of the union representing San Bernardino County prosecutors, public defenders and child support lawyers have filed a petition to remove the group’s leadership from office over the endorsement and financial support given to incumbent District Attorney Mike Ramos.
InlandPolitics has been informed that a petition with sufficient signatures to trigger a recall process of executive board members of the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys’ Association has reportedly been filed with the union’s leadership.
The union’s decision to endorse Ramos and financially support his re-election bid has caused a firestorm within the group, where a vast swath of the rank-and-file reportedly doesn’t support Ramos.
Concerns over veiled threats of retaliation against prosecutors opposing Ramos and other tactics are also reportedly at issue. The type of tactics of concern within the agency reportedly include piling on high caseloads and geographical or job duty reassignment.
The union’s board quietly endorsed Ramos last year and funneled money through a separately-formed political action committee (PAC) to the Ramos campaign.
Records on file with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters show that a “San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association – Prosecutors PAC” was formed on November 6, 2017.
A disclosure report filed January 29, 2018, shows the union transferred money from the groups PAC to the “Prosecutors PAC”on November 6, 2017 ($5,000) and December 22, 2017 ($10,000). The same disclosure also reports contributions to the Ramos campaign on December 6, 2017 ($1,000) and August 9, 2017 ($3,400), for the legal maximum amount of $4,400.
How a PAC that wasn’t formed until November 6, 2017 gave a contribution to Ramos on August 9, 2017, when it didn’t legally exist, is a big question here.
A late expenditure report filed by the same PAC shows the committee spending another $5,870 to purchase a slate mailer for Ramos on March 12, 2018.