Friday, August 9, 2013 – 01:30 p.m.

How much has San Bernardino County paid out in legal settlements?

It’s a question on the minds of many, ever since the county decided to pay out a million dollar settlement to a former sheriff’s deputy last Tuesday. A settlement intentionally not disclosed to the public.

Since January 1, 2012, the county has collectively listed some 304 litigation, or legal, discussion items on its Board of Supervisors closed session agendas. The number excludes personnel, or labor relations matters, but includes duplicate cases discussed on multiple meeting dates.

During those very same meetings, county attorneys announced the following.

No. of times supervisors vote to initiate, join or appeal a matter:        09
No. of times supervisors vote to accept a defendants' offer of settlement: 02
No. of times supervisors vote to pay out a settlement to a plaintiff:      01

The only settlement payout disclosed to the public, in the amount of $280,000, was paid to a Jhin Kim, in the case Jhin Kim v. County of San Bernardino Probation Department, San Bernardino County Superior Court Case No. CIVDS 900931.

That announcement was made way back on August 28, 2012.

Even a settlement, in the amount of $650,000, paid to Former County Chief Executive Officer Mark H. Uffer, had to be disclosed by Uffer’s lawyer. There’s no mention of the pay out on official county meeting minutes.

Expect some flim-flam explanation, as to why taxpayers are being kept in the dark.

The public is supposed to know what the county is paying out.