Tuesday, April 14, 2015 – 09:30 a.m.

San Bernardino County, California’s warped political and governmental structure is finally coming at a cost.

Tens of millions of lawsuit settlements, bad press, and an electorate that’s starting to awaken.

For more than a decade the local government’s management structure has ran more like a fraternity than a public entity. Everyone’s connected, scratches each others back, attends each others fundraisers, and most importantly, they cover up the dirty laundry.

Oops! And let’s not forget about protecting those $200,000 to $500,000 compensation packages!

Yes, in San Bernardino County it’s backslapping and high-fiving that’s the order of business. Some officials actually refer to this as being a part of the “Team”. But if an official doesn’t play ball, they’re a pariah.

An outsider!

What has county management, elected supervisors included, had to say about last Thursday’s beating incident in Appley Valley?

The answer: Nothing.

Crickets from vacant San Bernardino International Airport have apparently infested the County Government Center.

County Supervisors in Riverside, Orange and definitely Los Angeles, would never put up with half the crap that goes on in San Berdoo. In addition, unlike neighboring counties, San Berdoo works tirelessly to hide legal settlement payouts from the public.

Using some half-baked county counsel legal opinion that if a county settlement is approved and signed by the county first, it’s not disclosed. That’s of course unless someone finds out about it and seeks the information by public records request. The flawed and disingenuous rationale being that when supervisors sign off on a settlement, it really isn’t an official deal, because it hasn’t been accepted by the plaintiff. But when the plaintiff accepts, and since the offer was already approved in closed session, no disclosure is required.

County leaders are of the belief that if voters knew about the shenanigans that go on it would be baaaad!

Well, they’re right. But the public has a right to know.

It’s blurred leadership. And it’s glaring.

Local newspapers, a major contributor to the problem, know about this stunt. But they won’t write about it.