Wednesday, March 20, 2013 – 03:00 p.m.
A San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge set aside a misdemeanor conviction of a former county supervisor Wednesday morning.
Earlier this month, Former Third District Supervisor Neil Derry petitioned the court to dismiss his 2011 conviction of failing to properly report a single campaign contribution. A contribution made to his campaign committee back in 2007.
Derry’s probation was also summarily terminated.
Judge J. David Mazurek, finding good cause, and over the objections of the Attorney General’s Office, granted the request of Derry attorney Rajan Maline.
Deputy Attorney General Stephanie Chow, who filed a ten page opposition, appeared in court.
Investigators for San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos originally investigated the case, but handed it off to the state for prosecution.
Former Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons as a favor to Ramos, and relying solely on the facts developed by Ramos’ office, originally charged Derry with two felonies and one misdemeanor. At the time a superior court judge insisted the two felony counts be dropped.
Derry plead guilty to the single misdemeanor, which at the time he said “resolving the matter was in the best interests of his family and constituents”.
The conviction was the principle cause of Derry’s defeat in last November’s election at the hands of San Manuel Tribal Member James C. Ramos, who is a close friend and political ally of the District Attorney.
The two Ramos’ are not related.
Derry is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the public relations firm Desmond and Louis, and the current Vice-Chairman of the San Bernardino County Republican Party