Rep. Lewis passed over for powerful chairmanship

Republicans passed over  Rep. Jerry Lewis in favor of a veteran Kentucky lawmaker Wednesday to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

The party’s steering committee rejected Lewis’s request to waive term limits that bar him from reclaiming the post he held when Republicans last held the majority.

The decision deprives Lewis of a position that would have given him control over the federal government’s purse strings and a heightened ability to direct millions of dollars to his home district, which includes some of the Pass area.

See also: CREW’s Most Corrupt: Rep. Jerry Lewis

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County retaliates against blogger Sharon Gilbert

San Bernardino County executives have come down hard on one of their own employees who also operates a local political blog.

A blog popular with readers, but not county leaders.

Sharon Gilbert, an almost thirty-year county employee, has taken on county government with great success through her website www.iePolitics.com. A widely-read blog in Southern California’s Inland Empire, which consists primarily of San Bernardino County and Riverside County.

Ms. Gilbert has a network of sources that aid her in routing out issues with local governments and exposing problems. A resource that has contributed to the blogs success.

However, Gilbert has paid a steep price for her crusading.

More than a year ago, at the direction of ousted county administrative officer Mark Uffer, county human resources officers overrode a physicians off-work order and pulled the plug on Gilbert’s disability benefits coverage.

An off-work order, which had the concurrence of a county-approved physician.

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Ayala High sex abuse suit can proceed

CHINO – A judge has ruled that a sex abuse lawsuit brought against the Chino Valley Unified School District can proceed to trial.

The plaintiff, given the pseudonym “John Roe 79,” filed a law suit in August against the district for damages based on negligence, negligent hiring, sexual battery and sexual harassment as well as other issues.

Attorneys for the school district argued that the complaint should be tossed out because it was not presented within six months after the alleged abuse, as required by law.

The alleged incidents from 2000 to 2002 involved a former Ruben S. Ayala High School student and a former color guard instructor at the school.

The plaintiff is seeking $20 mil lion in damages.

Judge David A. Williams over ruled the timely claim-filing requirements this week in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga.

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Former client sues DA candidate Guzman

The former defendant in a real estate fraud case has sued her former attorney, alleging he breached attorney-client privilege and libeled her by posting false information on his campaign Web site.

Jane Un filed the lawsuit Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court against Frank H. Guzman, who is running against incumbent Michael A. Ramos for district attorney. She also filed a complaint with the California State Bar.

Un spent 28 months in prison before her sentence was reversed on appeal. Under a plea bargain with county prosecutors, she pleaded guilty in January 2006 to two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and two misdemeanor counts of trespassing.

On his website, Guzman said Ramos gave Un a “sweetheart deal,” that Un was charged with stealing more than $400,000 and that she was dating a friend of Ramos at the time her plea bargain was struck.

In her lawsuit, Un says none of the allegations are true and that the comments on the website expose her to hatred and ridicule and “imputes a lack of chastity.”

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Former DA investigator sentenced to probation

A former investigator in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was sentenced to probation Thursday for accessing criminal rap sheets in a law enforcement database for his personal benefit and that of his friends and colleagues.

Christopher Cardoza, 46, was sentenced to three years probation and 420 hours of community service by Judge Kyle Brodie in San Bernardino Superior Court. He is also responsible for $7,762 in restitution.

Defense lawyer James Vincent Reiss said the case brought against Cardoza had political overtones and that prosecutors sought to make an example out of his client.

“I think it’s an appropriate resolution for a case that in our mind is being brought out of spite,” Reiss said.

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Derry’s controversial team—continued

See also:

Derry buys more police protection

Another Nazi Pig Comes to Town: San Bernardino County supervisor hires controversial activist

Last week, The Alpenhorn News revealed that Third District Supervisor Neil Derry had appointed Wanda Nowicki to his staff as an administrative analyst, even though her background check had revealed a criminal history.

At the time, the fact that Nowicki had no special background to qualify for the position raised skepticism. Revelations regarding her criminal background were further exacerbated when documents obtained by The Alpenhorn News revealed that Jim Erwin, Derry’s chief of staff at the time of Nowicki’s appointment, had advised the Director of Human Resources not to share or disclose the contents and findings of her criminal background check to anyone.

Information about Nowicki’s criminal background once again called into question many of Derry’s choices to fill key staff positions. It began when he named Erwin as his chief of staff. He made this choice despite Erwin’s reputation within the county as a polarizing and controversial figure.

Erwin is infamous for his alleged 2004 affair with ex-county labor negotiator Elizabeth Sanchez who lost her job when she admitted to being romantically involved with Erwin, who at the time was the leader and chief negotiator for the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA). The affair is alleged to have occurred at the same time the two negotiated from opposite sides, a new labor contract between SEBA and the county.

Sanchez was promoted to the position of director of human resources. However, rumors about the affair were well known. When initially confronted about it by the county’s chief administrative officer, she denied it but ultimately admitted to the relationship a short time later and was asked to resign. There was no apparent consequence for Erwin’s involvement.

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Rim of the World News interviews Candidate Paul Schrader Sheriff/Coroner of San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Captain investigated

See also:   iepolitics: SB County: Update on Sheriff’s training records investigation

Criminal charges are being reviewed for a retired San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department captain accused of falsifying certifications to raise his salary and selling doctored training records to other employees.

Details of the alleged scheme have not been released. The captain, whose wife works at the sheriff’s training academy, has not been identified because it is a personnel matter.

Sheriff Rod Hoops said he launched an investigation after first learning of the allegations in September. When the captain was confronted, he chose to retire and pay back roughly $16,000 rather than be placed on administrative leave.

The possible corruption has shamed many within the department and raised concerns of a cover-up, which Hoops has denied.

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Attorney General threatens county supervisors with lawsuit for not waiving attorney-client privileges to assist corruption probe

SAN BERNARDINO • Frustrated that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has not waived attorney-client privileges to aid a far-reaching corruption probe, state Attorney General Edmund Gerald “Jerry” Brown, Jr. sent a letter blasting county supervisors and threatening to take the matter to court. (Click here to read the letter.)

“The appearance of impropriety here is simply inescapable and will be purged only when the board agrees to make this information available to us,” states Brown’s letter, dated Tuesday. “We simply seek the truth … This is a matter of intense public interest that we believe transcends legal advantage.”

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Paul Schrader: Transparency- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

The questions asked at most of my events and from people all over the county is, what are they hiding, and why is the sheriff and his command staff not open and available to the public.

As part of my fresh start approach to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, it will be my duty to see that the Department is above reproach in order to restore and retain the respect and trust of the public. My first objective is to make all areas of the Department transparent, especially the jails. There will be an open dialogue maintained with the community and community activists who have questions regarding the Department, including the jails.

In order to bring justice to those wronged and closure to those who have done right, I will have all internal investigations expedited. The community will know the truth, and Deputies will be treated fairly and in accordance with “The Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights”.

This is the right thing to do.  Check out my website at www.sheriffpaul.net and let’s work together for a TRANSPARENT Department.

Paul Schrader: Community Responsibility- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

My name is Paul Schrader, and I am running for the position of Sheriff-Coroner of San Bernardino County. My campaign is based on what we call the Fresh Start Initiative. My goal is to bring a Fresh Start to San Bernardino County that the citizens can be proud of, participate in, and see concrete, forward-looking solutions to the problems we face.

Community Responsibility- A Sheriff’s Department that accepts its responsibility to the community, and works with the community to improve
conditions for all.

The other day I was in Chino Hills. I was talking with a guy by the name of John. He said he would like to see the Department executives reaching out to the community, finding out what needs and concerns they have.  He said when he has tried to reach anyone of any rank, he is directed to a patrol deputy.  He is frustrated.

While in Victor Valley I talked to Helen. She had a few of her friends with her. She said she wanted a group to help bring the Department and community together. She said the Department said she could volunteer. She tried to call the Sheriff’s Office and was redirected to a patrol deputy. She does not want to be a volunteer, she would love to be part of a community group that could partner with the Department. She is frustrated.

I hear this throughout the county. Deputies are being utilized to answer questions that should go through Department executives. Our deputies are trying to provide law enforcement services and need tools to do the job even better.

I will have community groups in every area of the county. We will meet and work together, ensuring they are getting service needed in their area. I will be available to citizens. This is being done in Departments all over the State.

Dennis L. “Pinky” Stout got the message

Today I am announcing my decision not to seek the Office of District Attorney of San Bernardino County.

From a very early age all I dreamed about was being a public prosecutor.  After 17 years as a Deputy District Attorney, I realized my ultimate dream in 1994 when I was elected District Attorney.  I ran unopposed in 1998 and was reelected to a second term. During those eight years we accomplished a complete rebuild of the office from the ground up. We implemented over 50 new programs.

We positioned the office so that it could become the best prosecutorial agency in the state.

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San Manuel tribal member files lawsuit against former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy

A lawyer for a San Manuel tribal member has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against a former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputy who allegedly tried to extort him two years ago for cash and vehicles.The lawsuit for Ray Carr Green III, which was filed Feb. 19 in U.S. District Court, in Riverside, alleges that former deputy John Thomas Laurent knew that the plaintiff received a substantial income from tribal casino operations in San Bernardino and had a history of drug use.

Laurent reportedly violated Green’s civil rights on two occasions in January 2008 when he sought $80,000 and a Ford F-250 pickup from Green using threats of arrest and incarceration, according to the complaint for damages.

San Bernardino-based lawyer Emile Mark Mullick said Monday that prosecutors had already tried to pursue criminal charges against Laurent. Mullick was concerned about Laurent using his authority as a deputy to extort Green, he said.

“It was done under the color of law,” Mullick said. “He was using that authority in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

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Mike Ramos for District Attorney

CNN poll confirms: Most Americans believe their government is a threat to their welfare

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

Supervisors order surveillance sweeps for ‘bugs’

SAN BERNARDINO – County supervisors spent $22,500 last month to sweep their offices and other parts of the government center for secret recording devices and other hidden surveillance equipment.

The first sweep of the fourth and fifth floors of the county building occurred Jan. 23, and the purchase order provides for four more sweeps at undisclosed future dates.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Ovitt, who requested the counter-surveillance, declined a request for an interview Friday. But a county spokesman insisted the sweeps had nothing to do with an ongoing government corruption scandal that has implicated the offices of Ovitt, Paul Biane and former supervisor Bill Postmus.

“This is something the county periodically does and the county was doing this long before there was a (District Attorney’s) investigation,” David Wert said.

In all, Wert said, the county has spent $42,865 on sweeps in recent years but refused to disclose when previous sweeps occurred.

Last week, District Attorney Michael A. Ramos and state Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr., announced criminal charges against Postmus and former assistant assessor Jim Erwin in a wide-ranging corruption case.

Court documents also allege Biane and Ovitt’s chief of staff Mark Kirk – identified as John Does – accepted $100,000 bribes to secure a $102 million settlement payment for developer Colonies Partners LP of Rancho Cucamonga.

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Charges against San Bernardino police officer’s accuser dropped

FONTANA – Criminal charges against a man who accused an embattled San Bernardino Police Department sergeant of illegally detaining and searching him were dismissed Friday.Gregory Parker has spent nearly three years questioning the circumstances of his Sept. 18, 2007, arrest and fighting the two counts of possessing marijuana and receiving stolen property he was later charged with.

During a scheduled court hearing in Fontana Superior Court on Friday, supervising deputy district attorney Richard Alan Young said all charges were being dropped due to “insufficiency of evidence and in the interest of justice.”

He declined to provide specifics about why the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was no longer interested in pursuing charges.

Parker’s defense attorney, Gary Wenkle Smith, said his client was “elated” and lauded the system for making justice its priority.

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A little brain food for the perpetually Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council and other prostitutes of the Prison-Industrial Complex

Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government, New Data Shows

[ You allow your police to form labor unions, then think you can ever be free from crime?  Or free at all?  Stupid Merikins. ]

For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday.

In its annual report on union membership, the bureau undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008.

“There has been steady growth among union members in the public sector, but I’m a little bit shocked to see that the lines have actually crossed,” said Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.

Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008.

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Just a reminder to the pig-sucking, brain-dead, flacid, perpetually-Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council

Paul Chabot would love this commercial:

Teens Too Smart To Buy Anti-Drug Ads

A kid of about 13 wanders through a house party.  He goes outside where there are a quartet of pot smokers who offer him a joint.

He thinks for a moment, then there are all these quick flashes of him with pills, hiding stuff under his bed, getting into fights with his family, falling asleep in class and getting busted at school.

The ad implies that trying pot once will turn you into a full-on drug fiend within days.  This flies in the face of all science on the subject, but since when were facts used in anti-drug ads?

So the kid just shrugs and goes back into the party — ostensibly to eat more junk food and, quaff ‘energy drinks’, and listen to L’il Wayne and Snoop Dogg.

Does anyone really think kids will believe this fear-mongering balderdash?

In the 1980s, when I was a teen, they tried to stuff all this ‘Just Say No’ stuff down our throats and all it did was make us think that adults were morons.  If this new ad campaign is anywhere near as effective as previous government-run, anti-marijuana messages, we should see the number of teen drug users increase 10% within the next few years.


Now, instead of representing their constituents, like the pretty girl above, our mayor and council work for these guys…

Top row:  Rodney (“Baby Rod”) Hoops and Floyd Tidwell.  Bottom row: Gary Penrod and Cindy Beavers

And these guys work by preying on you.

Bob (RIP) and Mayor Liz, by the way, used to run a little back-room operation from their tourist shop.  They would purchase and re-sell meals to the Sheriff’s Department for their inmates.  They could have bought them direct, but were feeding their sheep while primping for the Master’s Work.

Liz, you’re supposed to be a psychologist.  Do you remember that little thing that Erikson called “ego integrity?”  Where will you find yours?  Tell the truth, Doc.

Gerald Celente Interview – Words of wisdom

Gerald Celente in Wikipedia

Trends Research Institute

Trends Journal

Some of SB cop, Adam Affrunti’s, violent past allowed in criminal trial for teen

SAN BERNARDINO – It has become a battle of the backgrounds.Attorneys on Thursday continued their struggle to keep jurors from hearing about past violent conduct for two key players in a criminal trial scheduled to start next week.

The players are Terrell Markham, an 18-year-old man accused of pulling a stolen gun on a police officer, and Officer Adam Affrunti, who had shot five people prior to these two tangling on Nov. 17, 2007.

Despite the prosecutor’s repeated objections, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ronald Christianson on Thursday ruled that one of the officer’s past shootings and one case of alleged excessive force is admissible at trial because of the possible similarities to the Markham shooting.

See also: Jurors to hear criminal past of San Bernardino teen shot by officer with 5 prior shootings

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Woman files $1.5 million claim against San Bernardino County DA

A Redlands woman whose sexual harassment complaint against San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos triggered an investigation is seeking $1.5 million in a claim filed Wednesday.

Cheryl Ristow, an investigative technician with the district attorney’s office, states that she was involved in a 17-month intimate relationship with Ramos that ended in 2005. She claims that she was retaliated against starting in May when it appeared that the affair would be publicly revealed, and has been on stress leave since July as a result.

Ramos issued a brief statement Thursday denying the allegations.

“I continue to vigorously deny these false and politically-motivated accusations and look forward to the truth coming out in a court of law,” he said.

In a phone interview Thursday, Ristow said, “I stand behind my story 100 percent.”

The county began an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation in August when an employee in the office came forward with a complaint against Ramos. Ristow’s claim identifies herself as the person who came forward with the complaint.

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Here comes “Pinky” for his final disgrace

[ Before making a big mistake, insist that "Pinky" Stout debate Mike Ramos in public and make a recording available on the Internet.  This jerk can hardly tie his shoes.  He was put into office by the military/prison-industrial complex mafia bosses, in an era of secrecy and censorship.  He was chosen for his ignorant obedience.  Let's see how he looks when we can really see him. By the way, MID/PID scum:  You don't run this county any more. ]

———————————————————————————————————————
SAN BERNARDINO – Former district attorney Dennis Stout says he’s ‘committed’ to winning back his old job.

Stout is determined to root out government corruption…

“During eight years that I was district attorney, we prosecuted over fifty major corruption cases. By the time I completed my second term, corruption in San Bernardino County was pretty much under control. But, during the last seven years, it has reared its ugly head again.”

Stout did not seek re-election in 2002 and was replaced by Mike Ramos.

Stout expects to make a formal campaign announcement within two weeks. (INT)

Story Date: January 6, 2010

Resistance Against Checkpoints

Law enforcement agencies have declared they will hold 300 “DUI” checkpoints during the holiday season statewide. Furthermore, they have declared 2010 “the year of the checkpoint.” Checkpoints are a military tactic that violate the Fourth Amendment and condition society to passivity toward police interference in daily activities. They disproportionately impact immigrant communities, who face deportation due to 287(g) agreements, which deputize local law agencies to enforce federal immigration law. For these reasons, resistance to “the checkpoint society” has been fierce, and has included lobbying local officials, holding vigils and marches, creating communication networks, and actually being present at checkpoints to warn passing motorists and document abuses. Follow reports from the struggle:

Op/Ed: Checkpoints Violate the Fourth Amendment and Normalize the Police State by Rockero

From the newswire: Pomona anti-checkpoint action by Direct Action Claremont | | Documentación de un caso de injusticia ejecutada en un retén policial por Rockero | | Protest LAPD Stealing Cars from Raza during Xmas Season!! by Unión del Barrio

This week’s checkpoints: Retenes navideños / Christmas checkpoints (25/dec-2/ene) by Checkpoint response

Plea Bargains Get Renewed Scrutiny

A surprise twist in the criminal case against Broadcom Corporation co-founder Henry Samueli again raises questions about plea bargains, one of the most important and controversial aspects of the justice system.

In a Santa Ana, California, court last week, federal Judge Cormac J. Carney dismissed the criminal complaint charging Mr. Samueli with lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its investigation of whether Broadcom misstated its earnings by improperly accounting for executive stock options. Judge Carney’s dismissal came even though Mr. Samueli had stood before him in 2008 and pleaded guilty to that very crime.

Mr. Samueli did what lawyers and legal scholars fear a disturbing number of other people have done: pleaded guilty to a crime they didn’t commit or at least believed they didn’t commit. These defendants often end up choosing that route because they feel trapped in a corner, or fear getting stuck with a long prison sentence if they go to trial and lose.

The evolution of the criminal-justice system in recent decades has put many defendants “under all but impossible pressure to plead guilty, even if they’re not,” said Yale Law School Professor John H. Langbein, a critic of the plea-bargain system.

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63rd District: You need to know Paul Chabot

Paul Chabot,  who is running for California’s 63rd State Assembly District, recently participated in a debate over drug legalization, which included former judge James “Jim” P. Gray of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Chabot was damaged in childhood by incompetent parenting and by the war on drugs. While compassion and support for the handicapped is honorable, outright patronization and exaggerated, unreal flattery is an insult.

The military, the criminal justice system and many religious cults go a step further and recruit from sources such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where a couple of percent of forced participants who actually are handicaps (euphemistically called “addicts“), buy into the concept of helplessness and are anxious to turn the control of their minds and bodies over to a “higher power.”  Chabot has been a subject of their nurturing since age 12.

These are the people sought by the recruiters.  They will do what rational people will not.  Note that 1 in 8 combat troops needs alcohol counseling.  Note the escalated activity by law enforcement to round them up during “wartime.”

Chabot has already proven his helplessness and mindless obedience to both the prison- and military-industrial complexes.  The next step for such victims is abandonment – or “promotion” to public office for one final round of exploitation.

If he is abandoned now, further damage to himself and his family might be avoided.  Even if this was not the case, society cannot accept the threat he will represent to all of us if he is patronized into a political career as a windfall cut-out for his handlers.

Do you want another “leader” who cannot handle his alcohol and/or drugs?  A leader whose goal is to punish all normal, healthy people for his disease and weakness?  It is time to take control of government away from the vulgar, self-serving military- and prison-industrial complexes and put them back under our control where they belong.  Have they not disgraced us all enough?  Listen to the debate…

Listen to the debate here.

His “testimonial-fired” personal website is here.

His political website is here.

His “bio” is here.

iePolitics: More on Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

After being off work and without a paycheck for the past four weeks thanks to our FORMER County Administrative Officer Mark Uffer, writing that last article was a bit cathartic.  Mark was a bit upset with me for several reasons, one of which is that I finally got sick of what was going on at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and dropped (ever so slightly) a dime on a couple of his favorite managers.

Now let’s discuss another issue at ARMC:  SEX

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iePolitics Commentary: Sheriff Hoops, Part 2

Sheriff Rod Hoops let’s continue from my last posting.

I do not want our readers to think that misconduct such as the credentials falsification issue with Sheriff’s Captain Bart Gray is nothing but an aberration.

It is actually the opposite. In other words it happens quite frequently.

Not only are special accommodations made for ranking employees when caught committing crimes, so are their family members. More often than not.

And to be fair to you, I acknowledge that this pattern and practice is nothing you designed or created. You are simply picking up where others have left off, and carrying on the culture and traditions of the department.

Maybe people will realize this is why some are appointed Sheriff within the ranks versus the County seeking outside applicants.

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Los Angeles DA Joins Ranks of Drug Cartel Bitches Against Medical Marijuana

It was a petulant fit of pique, certainly entertaining, and potentially hilarious — if safe access for so many medical marijuana patients weren’t hanging in the balance.

After things didn’t go his way at Monday’s Los Angeles City Council joint committee meeting, District Attorney Stephen Lawrence (“Steve”) Cooley pronounced Tuesday that he’d keep prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries, even if the council adopts an ordinance that doesn’t ban sales. Cooley said his office was already prosecuting some dispensaries, and he promised to step up such efforts in December.

The D.A.’s public meltdown was a result of his frustration that the council ignored the advice of L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and changed a provision in L.A.’s proposed medical marijuana ordinance, allowing cash transactions as long as they complied with state law.

“The City Council has no authority to amend state law or Proposition 215 (Compassionate Use Act of 1996). Such authority is solely possessed by California voters,” Cooley said. “What the City Council is doing is beyond meaningless and irrelevant.”

It was a richly ironic little hissy fit, given that drama king Cooley just handed pot advocates one of their best arguments in the unfolding culture war between those who insist on the lawful implementation of Proposition 215, California’s medical marijuana law, and those asserting, damn it, all weed sales are illegal, medical or not.

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Uffer Era Ends on a 3-2 Vote

Mark H. Uffer’s five-year tenure as the county’s top administrative officer drew to a close this week with a 3-2 vote of the board of supervisors.

The sacking of Uffer, who was named interim county administrative officer in March 2004 and then given the official title as CAO in September 2004, was not done for cause, the county board members said. Rather, the three supervisors who favored having him take his leave said it was simply a matter of their changing management and policy imperatives rendering him out of step with their collective marching orders that sealed Uffer’s fate.

“The board felt it was necessary to move in a different direction at this time.” said board of supervisors chairman Gary Ovitt, who joined with supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt and Neil Derry in approving the motion to terminate Uffer.

“The board felt it was a time for a change in leadership and direction and that is why the board made this change,” said Derry. “Despite the end result of the vote, I believe Mark Uffer has done his best for the county.”

Since no cause was cited in giving Uffer his pink slip, he will be granted a full year’s pay and benefits as a severance package, as per the terms of an ordinance passed by the board in January.

Thus, Uffer will be paid his annual salary of $273,748 and about $50,000 more in deferred compensation and benefits, including cell phone, car allowance, retirement plan contributions and health insurance. Those payments will run through November 16, 2010. Thereafter, Uffer, 56, will be eligible to begin drawing retirement.

Multiple efforts by the Sentinel to reach Uffer for his reaction were unsuccessful. A secretary at the county administrative office on Wednesday said, “I do not believe we are at liberty to provide you with his contact number at this point.”

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iePolitics Commentary: Sheriff Hoops

Rod Hoops Bart Gray

I am not surprised to hear that you are going to try and let the issue with Captain Bart Gray and his wife die a quiet death. More on that in a moment.

I direct these statements to you because you are the Sheriff. As you know you get tagged with all the good, bad and ugly things attached to the Department. You took the job, now you get the headaches too.

First let me address your concerns about where all these leaks are coming from and how many people are talking about all the corruption and double standards within the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The leaks are coming from everywhere and it isn’t just rank and file. Do you believe that the 3,000 plus employees working for you all think you and the Executive Staff’s way of conducting business is all right and they support corruption? No they don’t, they are tired of the “good ol’ boys” way of business. If folks are telling you or your staff everyday that your awesome and morale is high, someone is lying to you. But you believe what ever you want.

You will not find the leaks, because a leak could be someone’s spouse who has confessed his or her sins after getting home from work and having to “look the other way” at your behest or someone else’s.

It gets old after awhile.

Why would you or anyone else be worried about the leaks in information on corruption issues? SHOULD you not be investigating them like anything else?

No, you and a few others have elected to terminate and prosecute rank and file employees on a whim, add a couple Sergeants to the mix.

But anything that comes up involving a Lieutenant, Captain, or higher rank, nothing happens, or they are allowed to retire, or told to retire.

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From cop to politician

San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops has spent a career in law enforcement, but now he’s running for elective office and it’s a new ball game for him.

“I don’t really like that part of the job,” he told the San Bernardino County Democratic Club on Friday, Nov. 13. Even though his personality had to be a factor in his elevation from deputy to sheriff, he said he does not relish the thought of real campaigning, and said his appearance at the club was not a part of his campaign for reelection.

He started with a brief autobiography: Born to an unwed teenager, raised partly by his grandparents and partly by his mother and an alcoholic stepfather, he followed the love of his life from Nebraska to San Diego, where he decided to stay until he landed as job as deputy sheriff in San Bernardino in 1978.

“I didn’t even know where San Bernardino was,” he smiled.

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County Immigration Enforcement Plan Prompts Profiling Concern

Over the objections of eleven county residents, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this week renewed a commitment to have the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department cooperate with federal authorities in identifying illegal immigrants and targeting them for deportation.

While a representative of the county sheriff’s department indicated that the identification and deportation effort will be angled only at those individuals who have already been arrested for engaging in illegal activity, critics voiced their misgivings that the program will entail an undeniable element of ethnic profiling that will be aimed primarily at Hispanics, including citizens, legal aliens and illegal aliens alike, such that it will discourage illegal aliens who have witnessed crimes or been victimized by them from cooperating with law enforcement officers.

The board approved a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Homeland Security and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Sheriff’s Department to perform certain immigration enforcement functions for a period of three years and authorized the sheriff to sign the memorandum of agreement on behalf of the county.

According to sheriff’s deputy chief John McMahon, “Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), acting through the Assistant Secretary of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to enter into written agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to enable qualified personnel to perform certain functions of an immigration officer. On September 20, 2005, the board of supervisors approved such an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This board action included the addition of nine sheriff’s custody specialist positions to perform this function. To ensure the individuals assigned to these positions are qualified to properly identify criminal illegal aliens in the county’s corrections system, they are required to pass a federal background investigation, attend training conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and pass an examination at the conclusion of the training. Under this program, upon disposition of the criminal case involving a person identified as an illegal alien, the sheriff’s department will turn the individual over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible prosecution on federal immigration violations.”

Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt took the lead among his colleagues in pressing forward with renewing the sheriff’s department’s cooperative agreement with the federal government for the program.

According to available figures, last year the sheriff’s department screened 3,720 inmates jailers thought might be illegal immigrants and placed detainer holds on 2,359 of them. So far this year, jail personnel have interrogated 3,574 inmates with regard to their nationality and placed holds on 2,742 inmates.

McMahon emphasized that “We do not interview or screen anyone until they are lawfully booked into one of our facilities.”

According to a number of people who petitioned the board of supervisors not to enter into the agreement with the federal government, they do not believe that the sheriff’s department will restrict itself to enforcing Section 287(g) after legitimate arrests are made but will instead use it as a pretext to insert itself into the lives of otherwise law abiding Latinos.

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iePolitics: San Bernardino County to major U.S. Corporation (Google): Go away!

The news of this unbelievable episode was presented to me a couple weeks ago and I wasn’t able to gather more details until this weekend.

It looks like a major U.S. corporation recently embarked on a mission to San Bernardino County.

That mission? Establish a campus in the Victor Valley region of the county. A part of the sprawling First Supervisorial District.

The corporation? Google.

Some details are still sketchy, but it appears the internet advertising and search engine giant was rebuffed in almost a three stooges fashion.

Sources tell iePolitics about a meeting held with San Bernardino County officials, which included Economic Development Agency Director Mark Dowling, the master architect of the following disaster.

Let’s get right down to it.

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The California Fair Political Practices Commission Opens Probe of DA Mike Ramos

The California Fair Political Practices Commission has opened an investigation into San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos relating to his failure to properly report income provided to his wife, the Sentinel has learned.

The matter under investigation, according to sources who were instrumental in bringing the relevant information to the attention of the Sacramento-based political watchdog, pertains to $10,000 provided to Gretchen Ramos from the Friends of Mike Ramos campaign committee last year.

According to the California Form 460 campaign finance disclosure document Mike Ramos filed with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office on July 30, 2008 covering the period between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008, The Friends of Mike Ramos paid Gretchen Ramos $10,000 for “campaign services” and $124.64 in reimbursement money for a “CDAA [California District Attorneys Association] dinner.”

Gretchen Ramos is Mike Ramos’ wife of 28 years.

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Grants to Fund County Drug Courts

San Bernardino County Superior Court will utilize two grants totaling $1,099,830 to fund its drug court operations.

Court officials, under the direction of presiding judge James M. McGuire, will use one grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and another Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant to carry forth the programs, which are designed to steer drug offenders onto a course of sobriety while alleviating the court system, the prison system and ancillary agencies of the burden of dealing with non-violent offenders whose only offenses against the state involve the use or possession of narcotics.

The lion’s share of the grant money, $899,982, will be put up by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to be used in augmenting therapeutic drug treatment services for all nine of the drug courts located in the county. That money will be made available to adult defendants for the purposes of outpatient treatment, therapy and drug testing, along with employment training and counseling.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $199,848 will be applied only to female defendants at the Rancho Cucamonga District Drug Court who qualify for assistance in the area of therapeutic treatment for abuse and trauma, medical services and training.

Anti-corruption Group Discusses Strategy

The new organization dedicated to rooting out political corruption in San Bernardino County held its first public meeting on October 6 in Redlands. The meeting was relocated at the last minute when the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA) reneged on its agreement to allow the group to use its meeting room.

The organizers had hoped for eight to 12 people, but were pleasantly surprised when 26 showed up, including one broadcast reporter and Press-Enterprise columnist Cassie MacDuff. MacDuff has since written two columns on the group.

The next meeting of the group will be on Tuesday, October 20, at 6 p.m., in the meeting room of the Denny’s Restaurant located at 1180 Alabama Street, just north of Interstate 10, in Redlands.

Of those in attendance, 23 shared their impressions of witnessing years of various aspects of political corruption in the Inland Empire, although few had ever met each other and almost none had ever worked together.

Although the meeting was set to adjourn at 9 p.m., and the agenda was not completed until 9:45, there were still 20 people networking with each other at 10:45, and there were still ten left at midnight.

While continuing to work under the generic name of the “San Bernardino County Anti-Corruption Group,” organizational names being considered include “Citizens Inspiring Victory by Impeachment of Corruption (CIVIC)” and “Ethics, Truth, and Honesty In the County of San Bernardino (ETHICSb).”

The greatest challenge facing the group is to develop a general plan which unifies all efforts on a countywide level while addressing the diversity of each individual’s need for personal support to deal with the cases of corruption they are most personally troubled by. The group plans to work on both levels, as well as an intermediate level in which individuals from the same community also work on their local issues of corruption.


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Public Defender Seeking Volunteers

San Bernardino County Public Defender Doreen Boxer this week moved to facilitate efforts of the public inclined to volunteer time to assist with the legal defense of those unable to pay for it.

The public defender’s office is that portion of county government which is chartered to provide legal defense to those people charged with crimes who are financially unable to pay an attorney.

Because of restrictions in the current 2009-10 fiscal year budget, both the state of California and the county of San Bernardino have severely cut the amount of funding to the public defender’s office to pay for indigent defense. And because of the downturn in the economy, more and more defendants, who previously might have been able to hire an attorney on their own, find themselves without the means to wage a defense in court. They have thus turned to the public defender’s office, thereby burdening an already understaffed office with heavy caseloads. Making the matter more crucial, the office has in recent years been hit with early retirements and planned attrition to decrease the office’s expenses.

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iePolitics: Turmoil in SB County Public Defender operation

Apparently, there is rising discontent among veteran attorneys in the Office of the San Bernardino County Public Defender.

Sources inside the department tell iePolitics that one of the highly talented attorneys in the office who recently won an acquittal on a murder case is now on administrative leave. The sources also say that many of the Public Defenders best attorneys are either on administrative or stress leave, and others are seeking early retirement.

iePolitics has also learned that Public Defender Doreen Boxer has convinced County Counsel Ruth Stringer to file a lawsuit against the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association.

It seems Boxer objects to attorneys in her office being represented on discipline matters by union labor representatives, who are also Deputy District Attorneys.

The situation inside the Public Defender’s office is described as a huge mess. And a very sad mess. The morale in the workplace is described as being at an all-time low.

In the Spring of this year Boxer issued a directive to attorney’s in her office that they were prohibited from having romantic relationships with any Deputy District Attorney’s due to the inherent conflict.

Operation Phoenix and ACORN, sitting in a tree

Earlier this week, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was caught on video trying to help set up a brothel for underage immigrant girls (thirteen 13-15 year olds) in San Bernardino where the profits would go to support the political career of an aspiring politician. In the video, many names were rattled off in what seemed like references by the ACORN employee who claimed to want to assist in the set up of this “business” in San Bernardino. Among the names mentioned was one Congressman Joe Baca, firm supporter of Operation Phoenix (Mayor Patrick Morris’s “anti-crime” campaign).

In his run for re-election in late 2006, Joe Baca claimed credit for his involvement in Operation Phoenix as a positive reason to re-elect him. Countless complaints of civil rights violations by Operation Phoenix officers and participants have been reported and complaints that CPS has unjustly placed families under investigation and removed children from their homes because of Operation Phoenix raids on the poorer parts of the city; however, no complaint of Operation Phoenix can be considered as vile as the alleged molestation of three children in the “community centers” by Operation Phoenix employee (at 144K per year salary), Mike Miller.

Recently, Mayor Patrick J. Morris has taken his “anti-crime” program to Washington and promoted it for use throughout the United States. Patrick Morris is an ex CPS judge who sits on the boards of directors to many non-profits, some of which are contracted by CPS and make money every time his Operation Phoenix program lands a child into the foster care system. He is currently seeking re-election in San Bernardino.

As it turns out, ACORN directly supported Patrick J. Morris’ Operation Phoenix at a San Bernardino City council meeting in late 2007. Some twenty ACORN members showed up in red vests in support of the communistic program and were recognized by the mayor and council there. Considering the molestations, ties to many non-profits and similarities between the general template suggested by ACORN for the brothel and Operation Phoenix affiliate non-profits, one has to consider if Operation Phoenix and the re-election of Patrick J. Morris are a good idea for San Bernardino at all, much less the United States.

Return of Stout a good thing?

[ As Mike Ramos cleans the house that this man helped to build, we suspect that his expressed interest in running again is little more than an advance defense against an investigation of him.  Follow Stout at the iePolitics blog.  The military- and prison-industrial complexes of this nation brought us 9/11, the hate of the world and the violation of our own people and their families.  Dennis Stout is their shill in San Bernardino County.  Don't let him rape us again. ]

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Arraignment set for ex-SB County DA investigator facing 15 felony counts

A former investigator for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, suspected of illegally using a law enforcement database to access criminal rap sheets, is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 22 in San Bernardino Superior Court.On Aug. 31, the state Attorney General’s Office filed one felony count of grand theft and 14 felony counts of unlawfully using a computer system against Christopher Cardoza, 46, of Diamond Bar.

Cardoza worked out of the District Attorney’s Rancho Cucamonga office from April 15, 2006, until June 6, county spokesman David Wert said.

Cardoza is suspected of falsifying time sheets from May 2008 through February to show he worked when he was engaged in personal activities unrelated to his work. It added up to about three weeks of salaried time, said Evan Westrup, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

Cardoza is also suspected of accessing criminal rap sheets from a Department of Justice database for purposes unrelated to his work, Westrup said, declining to elaborate. The activity occurred on numerous occasions between Feb. 20, 2007, and November 2008.

Susan Mickey, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said she could not comment because the matter was a personnel issue.

Cardoza’s Rancho Cucamonga attorney, Jim Reiss, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

joe.nelson@inlandnewspapers.com, (909) 386-3874

Former Corrupt San Bernardino County DA says he may run against Ramos

Former San Bernardino County District Attorney Dennis Stout announced Wednesday that he is considering running for his old job in 2010 — challenging District Attorney Mike Ramos, who defeated him in 2002.

Stout, who served as the county’s top prosecutor for eight years, said he believes political corruption is worse than when he left office and that Ramos spends too much time on politics.

He accused Ramos of inserting himself into the criminal probes of five former assessor’s officials and jeopardizing the cases.

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Failure to disclose property ownership results in Penrod getting warning letter from FPPC

Former San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod failed to disclose, over a period of several years, ownership of several properties, a violation of the Political Reform Act, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission.Penrod, who retired in January after serving 14 years as the county’s top cop, received a letter from the FPPC dated Aug. 4 informing him of a complaint against him alleging that, while serving in the capacity of sheriff, he failed to disclose several real property interests as well as his wife’s business, The Counseling Team International, a San Bernardino-based business that has a contract with the county to provide counseling services to sheriff’s deputies.

Penrod was one of dozens of people the FPPC issued warning letters to between July 1 and Aug. 24.

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DA involved with another county employee

New reports have surfaced out of the District Attorney’s Office indicating that our illustrious Mr. Ramos has found himself another woman……

Yes. You read it correctly.

Unfortunately, Ramos is feeding at his own trough again. In other words another employee in his own department. Sources say this time it’s a 28-30 year old blonde investigative technician (name temporarily witheld at this time), who is assigned to the Bureau of Investigation at the Victorville DA’s Office. Apparently Ramos has Assistant Chief DA Investigator Richard Henricksen working on getting her transferred to the San Bernardino Office. Isn’t that nice. (Kind of sounds like another countywide official.)

Doesn’t San Bernardino County have any policies forbidding sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or fraternization with subordinates by management?

Who asked for days off and used as an excuse “To spend the day with Mike Ramos”? She did.

Who used the e-mail to confirm her request? He did.

There’s also photos of the two floating around. Always remember. People can’t keep secrets. Even those involved.

This is absolutely amazing to say the least, but not surprising. When will it ever end?

Is it power, domination, and arrogance, or a compulsive psychological disorder?

SanBernardinoCity: Sheriff Hoops Fouls San Bernardino

It was requested of this reporter to pay a visit to the Arden Guthrie area of San Bernardino by some concerned residents on August 7th of 2009. There were reports that S.M.A.S.H. team was gearing up at a local Target parking lot and the residents were concerned that, due to complaints of officer misconduct, there may be some abuse of power impending.

At approximately 10p.m., a Fontana P.D. vehicle was seen cruising in the area. I stopped the car and asked them if they were getting ready to do an Operation Phoenix Sweep and they confirmed that they were. I told them they were welcome in the neighborhood; however, only if they were respectful of the residents and I also informed them that I would be filming. I suggested that they only “raid” the homes they had warrants for and leave the other residents alone because it is illegal to enter homes uninvited without a warrant. The officers found it humerous and the driver stated that a warrant is not always needed. A few moments later, a distraught young man, escorted by another resident, came running toward me and stated that he’d just been stopped by Fontana P.D. on Guthrie, called a “punk” and “nigger” by one of the officers and intimmidated into staying until they’d ran him for warrants.

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State to join San Bernardino County corruption probe

The state attorney general‘s office will join an expanding probe of political corruption in San Bernardino County centered largely on the past activities of the assessor’s office, officials said Monday.

So far the investigation has led to the arrest of former Assessor Bill Postmus and four former employees in his office.

Allegations include using the assessor’s staff to do political work, forgery, grand theft, perjury and failure to report gifts from a developer. Postmus was arrested in January on drug charges.

All five defendants are now out of jail and awaiting trial.

Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos asked Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown for help in the case. He needs the investigators, but he also is seeking to neutralize critics who allege that his probe is politically motivated.

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Postmus files claim against county

SAN BERNARDINO – Former Assessor Bill Postmus filed a claim against San Bernardino County on Wednesday, alleging, among other things, civil rights violations, breach of contract and malicious prosecution related to criminal and civil cases pending against him.Postmus, 38, who resigned from his elected office on Feb. 13 amid allegations of drug possession, drug abuse and corruption in his office, alleges that his resignation was contingent on an oral agreement that an internal investigation into alleged malfeasance in his office would end upon his resignation.

The former assessor also alleges that county officials assured him they wouldn’t sue him if he resigned and would not oppose an effort by him to seek unemployment benefits.

Since his resignation, the county has sued Postmus, three of his top executive staffers and a political consultant hired to do public relations work for the office in an effort to recoup hundreds of thousands of misspent taxpayer dollars lost to alleged timecard fraud.

The District Attorney’s Office has charged him with grand theft, misappropriation of public money, perjury and drug possession.

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Ramos Accused

SAN BERNARDINO – A District Attorney’s Office employee who claims she had a 17-month affair with District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said Thursday that she has lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him with the county’s human resources department.

The complaint comes in the wake of a call by San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry for an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Ramos.

The allegations, raised over the past two months, have appeared in a weekly tabloid newspaper, complaints filed by targets of an ongoing corruption investigation and online blog postings.

Ramos has denied any wrongdoing and says the allegations of impropriety are a politically motivated attempt to undermine his office’s investigation into corruption in county government.

The woman, who has worked for the District Attorney’s Office for seven years, asked that her name be withheld as she is the alleged victim of sexual harassment.

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