Author Archive

InlandPolitics: Love this teacher

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – 07:50 a.m.

A lesson that should be taught in all schools . .. And colleges….

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

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InlandPolitics Commentary: Conspiracy angle may once again prove problematic

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 11:00 p.m.
Last updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 – 07:55 a.m.

Once again, could the conspiracy angle in the second trial of former San Bernardino County Assessor employee and Rancho Cucamonga city councilman Rex Gutierrez be problematic to the prosecution?

It sure seems plausible.

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InlandPolitics: Deliberations in Gutierrez trial end for the day

Friday, October 22, 2010 – 12:05 p.m.

The jury in the trial of former Assessor employee and Rancho Cucamonga city councilman Rex Gutierrez ended deliberations just after 11:00 a.m. this morning without reaching a verdict.

A jurors medical appointment ended the session early.

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InlandPolitics: Who will suck more of your blood?

After watching Tuesday nights debate, the question is, who will suck more of your blood?

Brown

Thursday, August 12, 1010 – 10:00 am

Well what do you know.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced yesterday that his office is teaming up with Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley’s office in investigating the salary and pension scandal in the City of Bell.

Truly an epiphany on Brown’s part.

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InlandPolitics: Entering another press lull, Brown rings the Bell again

Brown

Monday, August 9, 2010 – 9:50 am

Stop the presses!

The Office of the Democratic Candidate for Governor has scheduled a press conference for this morning in Los Angeles.

I’m sorry. I meant Office of the Attorney General.

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InlandPolitics: CA Gov 10′ – Brown photos speak a thousand words

Jerry Brown wants you to look forward.

But let’s look backward first and allow history to speak for itself.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010 – 10:35 pm

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Ramos

Almost six months ago, on two seperate occasions, local private criminal attorney’s personally approached San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos with a complaint.

What was done about the complaints to Ramos? Nothing.

Why? The complaint involved supporters of the District Attorney.

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I would have missed this gem over the weekend, but a photo in a Sounthern California newspaper was the tip off.

This past weekend San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos rotated into the Presidency of the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA).

Yes, now the CDAA is stuck with this man as their leader.

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Speak of being bent over. Go ask San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association members.

This attorneys group primarily represents county prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Like a bunch of lap dogs, the group ran out and voted through a labor contract modifcation with San Bernardino County, which effectively cancelled ongoing cost of living adjustments.

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InlandPolitics: Sorry Mike Morrell, You’re a politician!‏

Morrell

Two-time political loser and perennial candidate Mike Morrell is once again showing how desperate he is to win an important public office.

While most candidates in the race for the open AD 63 seat (Republican-Emmerson) have kept the race clean from attacks and focused on the issues, perennial candidate and sub-prime mortgage broker Mike Morrell is resorting to misleading and dishonest attacks against not one, not two, but three of his Republican opponents.

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Many people are asking why it appears San Bernardino County seems to be ignoring many of the problems occurring at its own Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC).

The answer that seems to be surfacing is political.

As in campaign contributions.

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InlandPolitics: Public Defender removed from Postmus case

The San Bernardino County Public Defender was replaced and outside counsel was appointed for former Assessor Bill Postmus this morning during a hearing in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

Judge Michael Dest barked at Postmus when Postmus attempted to inform the court he didn’t want to be represented by the conflict panel. Dest told Postmus something to the affect of if you don’t like it you can pay for your own attorney.

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InlandPolitics: Rouse assigned to oversee corruption case

A review of online court records shows the case against Former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus and Former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin slated for the courtroom of Assigned Superior Court Judge Duke D. Rouse for all purposes.

Rouse is already assigned to the case filed against Erwin more than a year ago.

Rouse is currently under challenge from Erwin due to his ties to the law firm of Gresham, Savage, Nolan and Tilden, where Rouse was a partner until 2004.

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InlandPolitics: Ramos “Drunk in Public” incident

InlandPolitics has obtained the names of two deputies who responded to the incident previously published at www.iepolitics.com involving District Attorney Mike Ramos and his alcohol-induced disrespect for law enforcement officers doing there jobs.

Since Ramos went outside the location to speak with Sheriff’s Deputies Gordon and Perea, the definition of “Drunk in Public” could apply.

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InlandPolitics: Next up, the Cardoza trial

Now that the trial of Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez has been continued to June 1st, focus now shifts to a lesser publicized case with even greater potential to inflict major damage to the professional and political career of San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

The trial in question involves former District Attorney Investigator Christopher Cardoza.

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Things are definitely looking up on the San Bernardino County government front.

New County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux is rapidly getting a clear picture of county finances and routing out discrepancies. Something everyone is glad to see happen.

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InlandPolitics: Gutierrez trial still on schedule for Monday

A Pre-Trial Conference in the case of Rancho Cucamonga Rex Gutierrez concluded this afternoon with the matter staying on schedule for a Readiness Calendar call Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Currently, the trial is set to commence on April 12.

San Bernardino County prosecutors are reportedly working to put off the trial until after District Attorney Mike Ramos’ June reelection primary.

InlandPolitics: DA seeking delay in Gutierrez trial

InlandPolitics has learned San Bernardino County prosecutors are seeking to hold off the trial of Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez on charges resulting from an investigation into the operation of the Assessor’s office under Bill Postmus.

Gutierrez who is charged with four felony counts alleging time card fraud is set to go before a jury on April 12th.

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The paralysis of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors would appear to be deepening as the weeks pass.

The malaise in county government is no more. Call it “frozen” government.

Be thankful county supervisors are letting their new administrative officer Greg Devereaux manage, and more importantly effect changes without their consent being required at every turn.

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InlandPolitics: Biane the corruption fighter?

Biane

Well just when you thought you’ve seen it all it.

Now we present Second District Supervisor Paul Biane the corruption fighter and reformer?

Nah! It’s election season.

I haven’t quite figured out what precisely has caused this uncharacteristic behavior from Biane, who is serving in his eighth year on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

After all, Biane has always displayed a “taxpayer be damned” attitude in his own conduct, especially when it comes to blowing money.

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Janice Rutherford

One surprising development in candidate filings last week saw Upland Mayor John Pomierski deciding not to challenge second district supervisor Paul Biane for his seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

Pomierski earlier this year expressed a desire to run for the seat.

Instead, we now have Fontana City Councilwoman Janice Rutherford wanting the job.

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InlandPolitics: Ramos former mistress claim rejected, suit forthcoming

Ramos

InlandPolitics has learned the County of San Bernardino has formally rejected a $1.5 million claim filed by employee Cheryl Ristow, who has now secured a local west-end attorney to initiate civil litigation against District Attorney Mike Ramos and the county.

Ristow, an investigative technician with Ramos’ office who carried out an eighteen month-long affair with the District Attorney alleges in the claim that she was targeted by Ramos and his management team after news of their past relationship was highlighted in a local news publication in May 2009.

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Hansberger

One year later and no word has come out of the San Bernardino County District Attorney as to whether or not he will charge political ally and former Third District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger.

Hansberger’s successor, Supervisor Neil Derry lodged a complaint directly with Ramos on March 2, 2009 alleging Hansberger directed his staff to destroy all of  the Districts correspondence and project files. A violation of county policy and a felony under California law.

Hansberger openly admitted to local newspapers that he directed the action occur.

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Last spring the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors embarked on a “score some political points” statement. One that would make them look like corruption fighters.

County supervisors were going to show residents accountability was at hand. The board voted 5-0 to initiate litigation against Former Assessor Bill Postmus and his staff to recover taxpayer funds related to time card fraud. The support for filing the lawsuit was the county’s success at recovering from individuals and businesses related to misconduct in the late 1990’s.

What supervisors received for their vote this time can best be described as a “legal boondoggle”.

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San Bernardino County currently sports one of the highest, if not the highest plea bargain rates in the state.

A not so flattering statistic to say the least.

Ramos

Over the last several years county supervisors have gave additional millions in budget funding to District Attorney Mike Ramos. The result. More plea bargains with criminal defendants.

Several months ago stories ran here and on iePolitics.com exposing substantial political contributions to Ramos by two attorneys who control the San Bernardino County criminal defense conflict panel.

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This morning a Superior Court Judge denied a procedural motion to dismiss all four felony counts against Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Rex Gutierrez.

The charges stem from Gutierrez’s employment with the San Bernardino County Assessor’s office in 2007-08.

The commencement date of the estimated ten day trial is set for April 12, 2010

San Bernardino County currently sports one of the highest, if not the highest plea bargain rates in the state.

A not so flattering statistic to say the least.

Over the last several years county supervisors have gave additional millions in budget funding to District Attorney Mike Ramos. The result. More plea bargains with criminal defendants.

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A High Desert developer tied to two local political action committees related to an ongoing corruption investigation by the San Bernardino County District Attorney was arrested this morning on two counts of perjury.

John DeFazio was arrested by District Attorney investigators this morning. His bail is set at $50,000.

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iePolitics: Cleaning Up Corruption or Political Witch Hunt?

Posted by Administrator at 18 February 2010

The most recent arrests of former San Bernardino County Assessor William “Bill” Postmus and former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Neil Derry, James Erwin, highlights yet again the disparity in treatment by San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos when compared with other jurisdictions. Ramos clearly is attempting to “punish” those who are political adversaries upfront as he knows the cases against them are weak and convictions are unlikely.

Take a look at the difference between the Postmus/Erwin case and the case of the four San Jacinto City Councilmen who were recently indicted in Riverside County.  The disparity is glaring.

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Allegations of improper contributions tied to votes in the case filed by San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and Attorney General Edmund “Jerry” Brown will likely take many twists and turns during the evidentiary, discovery and trial phases.

One defense aspect undoubtedly will be to bring in other examples of local legislative votes and the timing of campaign contributions by the related benefactors of those votes.

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InlandPolitics: S.B. County: Law firm refuses to give county materials on Ramos

InlandPolitics has received information that the Santa Monica-based law firm who was paid $140,000 to investigate misconduct allegations against San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and his staff has refused to turnover backup material to county supervisors.

The decision could lead to litigation with the firm. Any action against the firm ultimately rests with county supervisors.

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Rutherford

The political chatter is heavy this morning with Fontana City Councilwoman Janice Rutherford rattling the sabre at Second District Supervisor Paul Biane.

And of course, rumors have it that hiding behind the scene with Rutherford is the Lewis Group of Companies pledging their financial support.

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Ramos

In an interview the the Sun / Daily Bulletin newspapers, District Attorney Michael Ramos didn’t mince words.

Ramos’ statement in an article published this morning in both publications was clear and unambiguous.

It’s becoming ever so increasingly clear Ramos has become dangerous, and last week Attorney General Edmund “Jerry” Brown did nothing more than empower an already jaded man.

If he only knew.

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In this article we will take a close look at the destroy-at-all-cost targeting of San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and his Orange County-based political consultant David Ellis, owner of Delta Partners, LLC.

One thing is for certain. It’s becoming increasingly obvious Ramos’ agenda in his falsely-proclaimed never-ending quest to rid San Bernardino County of political corruption, and it definitely isn’t about fighting crime.

That agenda being, neutralize the county’s west-end political power base.

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InlandPolitics: The pandering fools?

With one whoring the other for votes, the two so-called law enforcement officials pictured above know no shame. This picture speaks a thousand words.

John Doe’s?

Isn’t it also interesting how the investigation can’t put dates on any of these alleged acts?

So let’s get this straight.

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InlandPolitics: S.B. County retirement board contracts raise more questions

Information related to two contracts awarded by the Board of Trustees’ for the San Bernardino County Employees’ Association (SBCERA) is raising red flags as to why the contracts were awarded, and what was the motivation behind the expenditures.

A well-placed reliable source within the retirement board says the contracts awarded to Orange County-based Delta Partners, LLC and the Sacramento office of lobbying firm Platinum Advisors were of questionable need and ushered through at the behest of former Treasurer-Tax Collector Richard Larsen. Larsen was a statutory member of the pension fund board during his entire tenure as the county’s elected Treasurer.

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InlandPolitics: Is dirty politics behind District Attorney actions?

One has to admit the political buzz in San Bernardino County is non-stop.

Many reverberations have crossed the transom regarding District Attorney Michael A. Ramos’ motivation for his politically charged actions over the past 18 months.

Some motivations that have surfaced of late have gained credibility.

While Ramos is employing the “I’m fighting political corruption” mantra in limited public appearances throughout the county, other issues have arisen that involve not only Ramos, but his Orange County-based consultant David Ellis, owner of Delta Partners, LLC.

It becomes really slimy and underhanded from here.

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InlandPolitics: S.B. County: Is Ramos above it all ?

District Attorney Mike Ramos

The release of campaign finance reports for the second half of 2009 did prove something. It proved San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos is above it all.

Yes, above it all. As a matter of fact, I think we should refer to the District Attorney as Lord Ramos.

It seems Lord Ramos went back to the campaign funds for his wife and a really close friend.

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InlandPolitics.com has learned that the outside law firm hired by county supervisors to handle litigation against former Assessor Bill Postmus and five others has already exceeded its budget with little or nothing to show for it.

Attorneys John Hueston and Leeran Factor from the law firm of Irell and Manella were given an appropriation limit of $500,000 by county supervisors last spring. A number already well above any potential recovery in the litigation.

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InlandPolitics: Ramos allies benefit from cozy contracts

Two staunch allies of District Attorney Mike Ramos have quietly scored payouts by way of lucrative contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some of the contracts, concentrated among three local agencies, have an interesting genesis.

The two Ramos allies are David Ellis owner of Delta Partners, LLC, located in Irvine and Brett Granlund, a registered lobbyist with Platinum Advisors in Sacramento.

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Cases involving four criminal defendants which are now entering the evidentiary stage appear to now rest on the sole testimony of one key witness.

Former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman who has plead “no-contest” to one count of Vandalism, two counts of Destroying or Altering Documents, and one count of Presenting a false claim, is now the “go to” guy for District Attorney Michael Ramos, who is attempting to portray himself as a corruption fighter.

Some glaring issues arise here when taking a look at Aleman’s charges.

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Several months ago a story exposing substantial political contributions to District Attorney Michael Ramos by two attorneys who control the San Bernardino County criminal defense conflict panel was published at www.iepolitics.com.

Now, more revelations are coming forward that may give a plausible explanation for $73,000 in political contributions given to Ramos from 01/01/2004 through 06/30/2009.

Sources who have had business dealings with the conflict panel tell of financial difficulties within the group plagued by late payments to employees and contractors. The issues have resulted in threats of going to state labor officials. It is being asserted that the funds from county conflict assignments now subsidize the private practice operations of the law firms involved.

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As more statements from those involved appear in local newspapers, and other information is gathered related to the travel activity of County Supervisor Paul Biane and incoming County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux, it is becoming very apparent that both men are on opposite sides of the coin.

In 2008, both men accompanied local businessmen to West Viriginia for a football and golf outing.

However, their stories in local newspapers diverge from here out.

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County Supervisor Paul Biane has broken his silence. Now his statements bear some analysis.

A leisure trip to West Virginia that occurred in September 2008 was reimbursed out of Biane’s campaign funds. Did the reimbursement occur in September 2008 or when the amended disclosure form was filed in March 2009, just 8 days before the arrest of Jim Erwin, former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Neil Derry?

Erwin was charged with ten counts of perjury and filing false documents related to a trip and gift he received in January 2007.

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The first tidbits of information are already surfacing in the now completed investigation report into alleged misconduct by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos.

And it isn’t good.

The findings of an investigation conducted by the Santa Monica law firm of Curiale Hirschfeld and Kraemer commissioned by county supervisors at a cost of $140,000 have been delivered to county officials, who have started their review as they prepare to present the matter to county supervisors and the public.

Ramos, who has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing or impropriety has called allegations made against him as being politically motivated.

However, it appears Ramos had only had three options in the matter. The first option, come clean and tell the truth; the second option, say nothing; and the third and final option, lie and deceive.

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Sources indicate the long-awaited investigation report into allegations of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and workplace retaliation, against San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos has now been delivered to county officials.

It is expected that a redacted version of the report will be approved for release by county supervisors. It is believed that the names of victims and those interviewed will be lined out to protect their identities.

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InlandPolitics Commentary: Mr. Uffer, enough with the stories already

When a person has a good thing going, you would think they would leave just leave it be.

For former San Bernardino County executive Mark Uffer this concept appears too high of a hurdle.

A full one year’s severance including all the benefits, bells, and whistles, hasn’t quite done the trick

Mr. Uffer has apparently been quietly spinning several tales out in the community in a heroic face-saving endeavor.  I guess you gotta try. Right?

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The victim who came forward last July claiming she had a three and one-half year affair with San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos and was retaliated against after the relationship became public knowledge has filed a $1.5 million dollar claim for damages.

The claim alleging sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, workplace retaliation, and constructive discharge among its allegations was filed against San Bernardino County, Ramos, and others in the District Attorney’s office.

The pending claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, contains some interesting pieces of information.

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InlandPolitics: Ramos failed to disclose $10,000 payment to wife

Mike Ramos

Ramos

October 29, 2009

A complaint has been file with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against San Benardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos for failing to properly disclose funds paid to his wife.

The complaint alleges that Ramos failed to report income received by his wife Gretchen. Official campaign disclosure statements on file with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters in 2008 indicate Ramos paid his wife $10,000.00 for “Campaign Services” from his campaign committee.

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