Archive for December 14th, 2009

iePolitics: Massive internal fraud in San Bernardino County social services arm


News emerged this weekend related to a massive internal fraud, a portion of which was recently uncovered within the agency responsible for the delivery of San Bernardino County’s social services programs.

iePolitics has learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds meant to provide aid for the disadvantaged has been illegally diverted by county personnel in an ongoing massive theft. It is believed that several schemes and abuses has been uncovered.

The San Bernardino County Human Services System, commonly referred to as HSS, administers the county’s various social services programs such as general assistance, Medi-Cal, and welfare. Annually, Hundreds of millions of dollars pass through HSS and into the hands of the needy who legitimately qualify for assistance.

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TheSentinel: GT Councilwoman Ramos’ latest liaison

Bea Cortez

December 11, 2009

The womanizing scandal plaguing district attorney Mike Ramos has plummeted to new depths with the revelation that his office failed to take prosecutorial action with regard to the alleged criminal activity of a woman he is purported to have been personally involved with.

While Ramos has been publicly linked with at least a dozen women who either work for him in the county prosecutor’s office or with whom his official position brings him into contact, the circumstance entailed in the most recently identified liaison is one with a public official whose only direct connection to the district attorney’s office is that she was potentially subject to prosecution though never criminally charged by the office’s public integrity unit.

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TheSentinel: Board Moving Toward Replacing Stringer


County government is about to sustain another top level personnel change, as county counsel Ruth Stringer is reported to be on the verge of either voluntarily leaving or being forced out of her post as San Bernardino County’s senior in-house lawyer.

Stringer, who has worked with the county of San Bernardino in the county counsel’s office since 1983, has been the consigliere to the board since November 8, 2006, when she was appointed as acting county counsel following the departure of Ronald Reitz.

Stringer, who graduated from the University of Illinois, began working for the county as an employee relations officer in 1978, attended the University of La Verne School of Law while working with county and passed the state bar exam in 1982. She transferred into the county counsel’s office in 1983, starting as a deputy county counsel. From 1989 until 2003, she served in the capacity of chief deputy county counsel and in September 2003, when Alan Marks retired as County Counsel to be replaced by Reitz, Stringer was promoted to the position of assistant county counsel, the position she held until she assumed the acting county counsel post in November 2006. On March 13, 2007, the board of supervisors, having discontinued its search for Reitz’s permanent replacement, settled upon Stringer.

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10:51 PM PST on Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County supervisors on Tuesday will consider what many say could be one of the largest developments ever in the county: the 11,150-home Villages of Lakeview, a project opposed by hunters and environmentalists because of its proximity to a state wildlife preserve.

The proposal by Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies, if successful, would bring a population of more than 30,000 people to a scenic valley below Mount San Jacinto that is now mostly farmland between Perris and San Jacinto.

The 2,786-acre project would mean thousands of construction jobs for years to come, and increased tax revenues and property value, said Randall Lewis, executive vice president of the company group.

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By Dan Walters
Published: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Standard & Poor’s, the venerable credit-rating agency, chose an opportune moment to unveil its annual fiscal scorecard for American cities, including those in California.

Its release came as local governments were assessing the impact of recession on their current budgets and beginning to look ahead with trepidation to the next fiscal year.

Twenty-five California cities received S&P’s Triple-A rating for their fiscal situations, the most of any state. Only one of those cities – San Jose – is very large. The others are uniformly smaller, affluent and mostly white enclaves such as Beverly Hills and Mill Valley.

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By Jack Chang
Published: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 1A

Frank Lett, like many of his fellow Californians, has little good to say about his state’s leaders and how they’ve managed California.

The Foresthill retiree, who’s a registered Republican, said he’s fed up with what he sees as an out-of-control state bureaucracy and the disproportionate power of unions, particularly teachers unions.

Californians should start over from scratch, Lett said, rather than give the current crop of legislators another shot. Even his own state senator, Republican Dave Cox, might have to go for the good of the state.

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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to rule in case of employer access to workers’ text messages, privacy at issue

* On 10:28 am EST, Monday December 14, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide how much privacy workers have when they send text messages from company accounts.

The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that sided with Ontario, Calif., police officers who complained that the department improperly snooped on their electronic exchanges. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also faulted the text-messaging service for turning over transcripts of the messages without the officers’ consent.

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