The long-awaited investigation into sexual-related misconduct and work place activity of District Attorney Mike Ramos and his department management staff was released yesterday afternoon. The investigation was triggered by allegations made against Ramos and his managers by Cheryl Ristow, an employee in the District Attorney’s office.
True-to-form, San Bernardino County fails to disappoint by creating a bigger mess.
Local newspapers jumped on the “Ramos is cleared” band-wagon immediately. One even attacked the claimant Cheryl Ristow in the headline.
Ramos immediately claimed vindication on all fronts and denied everything once again.
Honestly, two points must be taken into account. First and foremost, the investigation is intended to protect the county; and second, the Sun and Press-Enterprise newspapers have hooked their ball and chain to Ramos. One thing newspapers don’t like to do is admit they made a mistake. Plus, local newspapers don’t have the budget or resources to conduct any type of investigative reporting or analysis of the report.
Last week, the Victorville Daily Press was the only newspaper to come out say Ramos had an affair.
At first glance, many glaring points stand out in the report.
In his interview, Ramos tells investigators the following.
His cell phone was listed and not confidential.
He did not believe it would be remarkable for Ristow to have his cell phone number.
He did say he provided his cell phone number to Ristow on two occasions.
He suggested calls between he an Ristow may have been related to Ristow's former husband.
He firmly stated: "I never spoke with her about anything sexual."
He recalled conversations with Ristow about getting her daughter admitted to the Redlands Unified School District.
He estimated the number of calls between he and Ristow at 15 to 20.
He only admits having direct contact with Ristow one time, after the publication of the Sentinel article.
He heard of claimant's work performance issues at the time of the Sentinel article.
He alluded to political motivations behind Ristow's claims.
The District Attorney’s cell phone number is listed and not confidential? Everyone knows Ramos changes his cell phone number more than some people buy a new pair of shoes. I’ve had the same cell phone number for almost ten years. How about you? In the past, to get Ramos’ cell number you would either have to get it from Ramos himself or his executive secretary with her having his permission. Now Ramos wants everyone to believe it’s published and not confidential.
Ramos tries to say that Ristow could possess his number because it’s readily available, but then is forced to admit he gave Ristow his number, not once, but twice.
Ramos says his reasons for communicating with Ristow (an Investigative Technician!) were; 1) Redlands Unified School District where he was formally a trustee; and 2) Ristow’s ex-husband.
Ramos estimated 15 to 20 calls between he and Ristow. How about 54 actual calls. Interestingly, the copies of the bills were provided to Ramos’ attorney, who had an explanation.
The Redlands School issue is interesting because at the time Ristow and her children resided in the San Bernardino Unified School District.
Yet, Ramos stated he only had direct contact with Ristow one time. (Ramos used Supervising Deputy District Attorney Mike Fermin as an intermediary to call Ristow regarding the Sentinel article.)
Ramos says he heard of Ristow’s performance issues at the time of the Sentinel article being published.
Ramos then alludes to political motivations behind Ristow’s claims. (Is this the vast right-wing conspiracy against the corruption fighting District Attorney? Right.)
InlandPolitics.com has learned from county sources:
That at least one interview of a highly credible witness favorable to Ristow was omitted from the report.
Significant portions of interviews were not included in the report.
County Counsel intervened to narrow the scope of the written report. Not the interviews.
County Counsel Ruth Stringer is opposing the release of the investigation interview notes.
One major question to be asked here.
If Ramos is just this innocent person, a boy scout, faithful to his wife as the sun rising in the east, a man who was just trying to help Ristow out.
Why hire an attorney?
More to follow…………..