Sunday, August 1, 2010 – 2:30 pm


Two of San Bernardino County’s three top lawyers are reportedly on their way out.

Previously reported here is the anticipated departure of Public Defender Doreen Boxer. Now add County Counsel Ruth Stringer.


Expect a retirement announcement from Stringer any time now. Believe me it’s not soon enough.

Maybe. Just maybe. San Bernardino County can rid itself of inept legal conclusions and opinions driven by personal animus. Stringer’s advice alone has cost San Bernardino County taxpayers dearly. Stringer’s decisions have also contributed greatly to the county’s lack of transparency, almost taking an abstructionist tone at times.

Stringer has spared no expense using the taxpayer pocket book in fighting or forcing issues, even when she’s blatantly wrong. Her position has always been it’s not her money and county supes let the position prevail.

After millions in wasted dollars her reign is now at an end.

Stringer will depart county service with an annual pension in the realm of $200,000 per year and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts from accrued leave cash-outs and the conversion of sick leave into a retirement medical trust.

It’s unknown what path county supervisors will take in filling Stringer’s spot long-term. Their choices are an internal candidate, external candidate, or contracting with a law firm, county charter permitting.

The county’s remaining top lawyer, District Attorney Mike Ramos, plaugued with repeated acts of poor judgment, has his own problems to contend with on the horizon. Talk of ongoing investigations involving the two-term official and potential civil suits arising from his engaging in relationships with subordinates will undoubtedly start playing out this fall.

Expect matters involving Ramos to once again fall into the laps of county supervisors.