After receiving a few feedback comments I decided to write a follow-up piece to my first story on this topic in a effort to make my point clearer.
The op-ed written by Frank Pine, Editor of the San Bernardino Sun / Inland Valley Daily Bulletin titled “Whose attorneys are they?” available here lists a myriad of block walls county supervisors “could have” employed to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege related to the Colonies Settlement matter. A waiver was requested by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and California Attorney General Edmund “Jerry” Brown in order for their prosecutors and investigators to access documents and lawyers who worked on the litigation.
County supervisors didn’t meet Pine’s implied expectations of obstruction. Instead the supervisors voted to grant a limited waiver of privilege in order to facilitate the completion of the investigation, which likely won’t be anytime soon. After all, District Attorney Ramos and Attorney General Brown have elections to deal with, and nothing related to the investigation can be allowed to blow-up until at least Mid-November.
While Ramos’ reelection will likely be resolved in five weeks, Brown must continue on until November where he presumably faces Meg Whitman. Whitman is someone with the means to exploit Brown being tied to Ramos’ hip when the music stops and Ramos implodes.
The final part of Pine’s aforementioned op-ed says it more clearly than any other part of the column. It reads as follows:
If that were to happen, prosecutors might have to make good on their promise to “immediately initiate our legal remedies in a court of law, so that we can pursue and conclude our investigation promptly and completely,” as Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons wrote to supervisors last week.
The best part of Schons’ letter is, however, not that. It’s a quotation from James Madison (from a letter to W.T. Barry dated Aug. 4, 1822), and it speaks, in my opinion, to the whole mess. Here it is:
“A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
Exactly right Mr. Pine.
The people need to be armed with power and knowledge.
County Supervisors however continue to keep from the public “back-up material” related to a four-month long $140,000 investigation into the conduct of Ramos. While a so-called report on the investigation cleared Ramos. Insiders describe the investigative interview notes as devastating.
Was the report a “white wash”? It’s sad Mr. Pine. You seem as if you could care less. Is this true? What happened to your self-proclaimed duty to the public?
Don’t county supervisors have a legal duty to address misconduct in the workplace by a countywide elected official, particularly if the conduct has a high probability of re-occurrence? Do the same supervisors expose the taxpayers to strict liability should the problem be covered-up and corrective action not taken?
So Mr. Pine. What’s the difference between knowing about the Colonies Settlement or misconduct involving District Attorney Ramos who you routinely protect?
You are correct Mr. Pine. People have a right to know. Your newspaper even has in its possession interviews and confirmation of some of Ramos’ shenanigans and you have and continue to cover for him. Your reporters, if they have any skill or sources, are hearing the chatter involving Ramos.
You know somethings up.
Matters on the Ramos front may seem quiet right now. But, it just seems that way. Like I said in my last post, things aren’t always as they appear.
Just don’t sound appalled and shocked when the table is turned on Ramos and the truth about the DA and his motivations come out. No one will believe you are sincere.
It would be better if you just didn’t say anything at all and went on your way.
The Press Enterprise at least seems to be taking a more neutral or objective stance on many of these subjects. You think the the Press Enterprise might smell the stench?
Mr. Pine, you seem to still operate under the belief your newspapers control public opinion. For some of those that read your paper the premise might be true. However, checking the website of your parent the Los Angeles News Group, the paid daily circulation of the Redlands Daily Facts is listed at 6,972, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin at 49,899, and the San Bernardino Sun at 50,941.
The combined numbers equal less than five percent of the county population. Yes, copies are re-read by others.
Readers respect objectivity more than spin. You could be surprised, and they really just might be smart enough to read between the lines. Really, they could be!
It’s a shame newspaper circulation is falling.
Newspapers do serve a public interest, and yet for a wide variety of reasons, many cheer for their downfall.