Tuesday, January 3, 2012 – 03:00 p.m.

Was it a misunderstanding or a lie?

A regular question in San Bernardino County government.

Former San Bernardino County Counsel Ruth Stringer, who handed the baton to her successor Jean Rene Basle last November, when she announced her retirement, is set to have her retirement officially approved by the San Bernardino County Board of Retirement this Thursday.

The effective date?

December 3, 2011.

The big question here?

Was Stringer allowed to burn 2080 hours of banked leave time or paid a one year severance?

No matter how one slices it. Stringer was allowed to accrue another 448 hours of leave time and add 3% more to here retirement formula, not to mention a full years salary and benefits.

What a deal for county taxpayers.

Stringer has always asserted she retried of her own volition.

But, based on this event, that story is doubtful.