April 19, 2011 7:24 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • Five city officials have been subpoenaed for testimony by the San Bernardino County Grand Jury as part of a two-year investigation into Victorville’s finances and management practices.

“I understand that there have been subpoenas served to the city attorney,” Mayor Ryan McEachron confirmed, stating City Attorney Andre de Bortnowsky is authorized to accept subpoenas on the behalf of Victorville. “I don’t know who they’re for or what they’re regarding.”

McEachron said Tuesday afternoon he personally had not received one of the requests to appear before the grand jury. However, two sources close to the investigation said subpoenas were issued for a couple of council members and three upper-level city employees.

Late Monday afternoon, Victorville added an urgency item to its closed-session agenda for Tuesday night to discuss the ongoing grand jury investigation. There was no reportable action out of that meeting.

The 19-member citizen group first began probing Victorville in early spring 2009, interviewing a slew of city officials regarding troubled finances, reported handshake deals and more. And for the first time in the county’s history, six citizens were held over from the 2009-10 grand jury to continue serving with this fiscal year’s watchdog group.

On request from the Victorville City Council, the grand jury hired New York-based firm Kessler International in May 2010 to begin investigating the city’s books. Deputy City Manager Doug Robertson said Tuesday that he suspects the city has sent more than one million pages of documents to Kessler’s firm as part of that investigation.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI also continue to investigate Victorville, though City Manager Jim Cox said during Tuesday’s special Council meeting that no one has indicated to him that any crime has been committed.

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Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.