Scales of Justice

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 04/09/15, 8:14 PM PDT |

A former field representative for San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos pleaded not guilty Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court to felony charges of smuggling drugs into a county jail.

Michael Lipsitz, 53, of Landers appeared before Judge Michael M. Dest during his arraignment, in which he pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of smuggling drugs and drug paraphernalia into the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore.

The case was then transferred to the courtroom of Judge Steve Malone, who assigned the case to Judge Annemarie Pace and set the next hearing for Wednesday.

Lipsitz’s attorney, C. Patrick Milligan, said Thursday he had just received a packet of police reports and other evidence in the case from the prosecutor, Michael Grigoli.

“Next week we will sit down and iron out some of the details as to how we proceed in a proper manner with this case,” Milligan said.

Lipsitz was arrested Feb. 4 at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center’s fire camp, where he is suspected of smuggling drugs and paraphernalia into the jail for inmate Joshua Jonathan Rhodes, 26, whom Lipsitz identified as a longtime friend and was a volunteer firefighter at the jail’s fire camp.

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