This last week’s developments involving the filing of charges against two former county officials, the naming of five “un-named” co-conspirators, and the reputation destruction of others referred to in a complaint and accompanying arrest affidavit has commenced a chain of events that will reverberate in San Bernardino County for years.
The charges and accusations come with less than one week before the filing period for the June primary election officially opens. District Attorney Mike Ramos is seeking re-election and California Attorney General Jerry Brown is running for Governor.
After the conclusion of a live press conference District Attorney Mike Ramos made it clear to reporters they could deduce who the “un-charged” or “un-named” parties were by carefully reading the criminal complaint. Figuring out the names wasn’t the least bit difficult. Ramos’ venom was evident. He spoke of personal attacks on himself and his family and concerns over his budget being cut.
Former Assessor and County Supervisor Bill Postmus, who already posted $110,000 bail was re-arrested and forced to post an additional $250,000. Former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, who had already posted $220,000 bail was also re-arrested and required to post an additional $380,000.
Neither Postmus nor Erwin had ever been late to any court appearance.
The “un-named” individuals are Jeff Burum, co-managing partner, Colonies Partners, Dan Richards, co-managing partner, Colonies Partners, Patrick O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Public Relations, Paul Biane, second district supervisor, and Mark Kirk, chief of staff to fourth district supervisor Gary Ovitt.
Clearly Ramos, whose anger and venom was evident at the press conference earlier that day didn’t want either of the men out of jail.
For over a year now District Attorney Mike Ramos has embarked on a campaign to terrorize and assassinate anyone who gets in his way, or those whom he perceives as a threat.
In other words, we now have an all out war between good versus evil in this county. District Attorney Mike Ramos is that evil.
Ramos has no problem retaliating against others and he has demonstrated that ability in the past. Just ask the President of the union representing Ramos’ own prosecutors, Grover Merritt.
A few years ago Merritt, the president of the San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association made it known he may run for DA. What happened? Ramos had a false allegation leveled against Merritt and fired him. Ramos accused Merritt of leaking information to the press.
Ramos refused to be deposed in a federal lawsuit filed by Merritt. A hearing officer ordered Merritt reinstated. The county settled with Merritt and he was paid approximately $300,000 plus full back pay and retirement credit to settle the federal lawsuit.
An employee in Ramos’ office who had an eighteen month-long affair with the DA has filed a $1.5 million claim against the county for various claims. Ramos has called the woman a liar in the newspaper by denying the relationship.
Yet, Ramos holds himself above all others. He lies about his own conduct, uses his office to solicit extramarital affairs, engages in heavy-handed prosecutions, and makes it known he wants more money, while at the same time portrays himself as being concerned for crime victims and child prostitution.
During Ramos’ last seven years in office he has spent more than half a year in Sacramento. Is Ramos the District Attorney for Sacramento County or San Bernardino County?
The term hypocrisy is alive and well here.
Ramos has clearly been on a sinister crusade of evil against those whom he views as his enemies. The California Attorney General, Jerry Brown has bought into the game. Brown has indirectly relinquished his role as A.G. in exchange for being a candidate for Governor. In other words the press value of what we bear-ed witness to last week was irresistible as his soon-to-be opponent Meg Whitman climbs in polls.
Ramos has made it absolutely clear. He protects his friends and pursues those he views as his adversaries. Most importantly Ramos has shown if it benefits him he will burn anyone to the ground. A point I’m sure many of Ramos’ current friends and allies now have on their minds.
Hurting people, colleagues, families (including his own) makes no difference. Political gain and self-gratification is above all else.
With prosecutorial power at his command, Ramos is a dangerous person indeed. In his eyes he answers to no one.
This latest stunt even has some people in Ramos’ own department concerned to the point of openly expressing their opinions, and others involved in the case counting their days until retirement.
I have repeatedly told Jeff Burum that Ramos would resort to any level to gain re-election, even to Burum’s detriment.
Burum didn’t believe me then. Burum said he would never throw the first punch at Ramos.
I hope he decides to defend himself, his family, and his associates now.
Even after the arrest of Jim Erwin in March 2009, Ramos through his consultant David Ellis was lobbying Burum for re-election support throughout the summer and fall. Support Burum refused to give. Ellis was even more concerned Burum may oppose Ramos.
Isn’t it interesting Ramos had this much concern in leveraging Burum’s support during an investigation targeting Burum?
The damage to personal and business relationships accomplished here is irreparable. Not only to Burum, but many, many others.
The five so-called un-named “co-conspirators” might just have well have been arrested due to the manner in which they were accused.
Jeff Burum has removed evil from this community before and it would appear he’s the only one capable of doing it now.
Hopefully he is willing to step up to the challenge.
Remember, good always prevails over evil.