By John Charles
Created: 09/01/2011 05:44:55 PM PDT
The San Bernardino County district attorney appears to be hell-bent on continuing the persecution of a developer and three former county officials even though every time they get in front of a judge, the county loses! Here is my take on how this has all unfolded:
After years of legal wrangling that cost the county $20 million in attorney fees, and after suffering three significant defeats in front of three different judges, the county faced the very real possibility that they would be ordered to pay this developer as much as $300 million.
The writings of one of the judges was published in the Daily Bulletin. It severely reprimanded county officials for causing the conditions that led to the lawsuit in the first place. Recognizing that this was all going very badly for the county, three county supervisors courageously crafted the well-publicized $102 million settlement that has become the basis of the lawsuit. I say “courageous” because it would have been much safer for them to hide behind the county attorneys and just let them handle it.
As it turns out, it has cost them their reputations, their careers and has probably wiped them out financially. Attorneys for the county advised against the settlement because, of course, settling means that their million-dollar paydays would end.
A fourth supervisor recognized the county’s peril but, knowing that the settlement would pass on the votes of three others, took political cover and voted against it.
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