Marine suspected of murdering toddler now in civilian hands

A New River Marine accused of killing a toddler last month in California has been transferred from base to the Onslow County Jail.

Joshua Kruzik, 21, is awaiting extradition on charges of murder and injury to a child resulting in death. He is accused of killing 18-month-old Audrey Allen, the daughter of Marines he was staying with while training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

“Pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in San Bernardino County, Calif., and in accordance with Marine Corps policy, we transferred custody of Cpl. Kruzik to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department,” New River spokeswoman 1st Lt. Kristin Dalton said. “There, he will be processed for extradition to California where he will face criminal charges brought by local authorities.”

While Kruzik is “in the hands of civilian authorities,” he has not been discharged from the Marine Corps, Dalton said, clearing up an erroneous report from California authorities that Kruzik had been dishonorably discharged.

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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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San Bernardino County Sheriff Candidates to Participate in June 1 Forum in Big Bear

The California Statewide Direct Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, June 8, and those voters who plan to request a vote-by-mail ballot have until June 1 to do so. In addition to five statewide measures on the June 8 ballot, San Bernardino County voters will have opportunity to vote for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (currently Dr. Gary Thomas) and County Sheriff.

Current Sheriff for the County Rod Hoops, who in February 2009 assumed the role of outgoing Sheriff Gary Penrod, will be in Big Bear on June 1st to participate alongside Sheriff candidates and Deputy Sheriffs Paul Schrader and Mark Averbeck in a forum hosted by the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and the Democratic Club of Big Bear Valley.

The Tuesday, June 1st candidates forum, to be held at the Municipal Water District offices at 40524 Lakeview Drive at 6:30pm, is also scheduled to include candidate for Tax Collector Ensen Mason, running against incumbent Larry Walker, and both candidates for County Assessor, current Assessor appointee Dennis Draeger and Alfred Castorena Palazzo. The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office can be reached at 387-8300 or via sbcrov.com.

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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Escapades of former sheriff Gary Penrod’s Wife

See also:  Escapades of former sheriff Gary Penrod

Witnesses who have been lined up to testify that the woman who has provided psychological care to members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for more than two decades engaged in multiple sexual affairs with the deputies she was hired to treat should be excluded from testifying in a libel suit she has brought against a newspaper publisher, her attorney has told the court.

Nancy K. Bohl is the proprietor of the Counseling Team International (also see her at “Spirit of the Law“). With the Counseling Team, Bohl has provided several forms of psychological services to the sheriff’s department since 1986. Bohl and her company sued Valley Wide Newspapers in 2000, alleging that a series of articles published in papers owned by Valley Wide publisher Raymond S. G. Pryke libeled her. Valley Wide Newspapers publishes four newspapers in the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County.

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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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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department buys gear from company targeted by sweatshop investigators

The Safariland website is a virtual big box retailer of tactical equipment, chemical weapons and forensics for police departments, military and private security contractors. The Premium Wallbanger System is used for SWAT team entry operations and can create a shooting port through a wall. It can use an explosive charge to breach metal doors and provides OVC spray coverage. The Protech brand makes a rifle threat plate that can withstand multiple rounds from an AK-47. The DeltaNu Reporter is a handheld illicit drug identification system. The Monadnock Autolock defender baton is expandable and comes with a guard for hand protection.

In the early days Safariland kept it simple. The Ontario-based multinational corporation birthed in a ’60s suburban Los Angeles garage was known for custom holsters. The manufacturer claims that 70 percent of peace officers in North America currently use Safariland duty gear. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department purchases duty gear from the manufacturer.

Decades of growth and a series of mergers and acquisitions has left Safariland the flagship of 19 companies under control of the British defense contractor BAE Systems. The free trade business model of the ’90s put Safariland in a factory in Mexico well before the consolidation with BAE systems took place. The North America Free Trade Agreement fueled the growth of maquiladoras. The border factories import materials into Mexico for assembly and then re-export them to the U.S. to enter the global marketplace.

The treaty made conditions ripe for economic and environmental exploitation. The effect of the duty-free and tax-free provisions of NAFTA that leave little or in most circumstances zero development in the communities the workers live.

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Man who says he spied on mosques for FBI files lawsuit

Craig Monteilh says he lives in danger.

He’s been targeted for death by Islamic extremist groups, the Romanian and Mexican mafias and white supremacist groups. One fugitive now wants his head, he claims.

Today Monteilh, a 47-year-old fitness consultant, plans to serve papers on the people he says put him in this bind – his former employer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Irvine Police Department.

Monteilh, who says he spied on mosques for the FBI as an undercover informant, filed a lawsuit last week claiming his agency handlers violated his civil rights and put his life in danger.

“They put me in prison with no protection,” he said. “There were hits on my life. I had to do what was necessary to survive in there in defense of my own life.”

He said his FBI supervisors reneged on a promise of severance and protection after a FBI supervisor muddled an operation that would have uncovered “bomb making materials” at a mosque, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, seeking $10 million in damages, was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Jan. 22.

Monteilh, 47, spied on nearly a dozen mosques from July 2006 and October 2007 on the FBI’s behalf, posing as a Muslim convert, the suit alleges.

Two of the mosques were in the San Gabriel Valley, including the Al-Nabi Mosque in West Covina and the Masjid Al-Fatiha mosque in Azusa, he said.

“The government will have an opportunity to respond to these allegations in court,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. “However, the accusations appear to be an attempt to discredit law enforcement for personal gain, at the expense of the Muslim-American community.”

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Authorities say Marine’s wife was strangled

Kalyn Denise O’Barr-Poteat Patrick Poteat

SAN DIEGO – Investigators say they now know how the young wife of a Marine Corps Air Station Miramar soldier was murdered, but they still don’t know why.

San Diego Homicide detectives said 18-year-old Kalyn Denise O’Barr-Poteat was strangled to death with some sort of cord or rope.

Police said her husband, Lance Cpl Patrick Poteat is the killer. They say he called a friend Tuesday and asked him to call 911. He wanted police to check his apartment in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego. When officers went to the home on Tuesday, they found the young woman’s body of his wife.

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Don Keith wins SEBA endorsement for 63rd Assembly District

Rancho Cucamonga mayor and California’s 63rd State Assembly District Republican candidate Dr. Donald J. Kurth, Jr. has been endorsed by the influential San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association.  SEBA represents San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies and many other county public safety officers.

“SEBA members are pleased to announce our endorsement of Mayor Don Kurth for the 63rd Assembly District,” said association president William Abernathie. “He has been a true champion for public safety.”

“Sheriff’s deputies and safety employees can count on Mayor Kurth for effective leadership in the fight against crime. He will stand tall for our local communities at the state capitol,” declared Abernathie.

“It is such an honor to receive the support of those who put their lives on the line to protect our communities from criminals,” stated Kurth. “SEBA is one of the sought after endorsements in the Inland Empire. Their support is a huge step forward for my campaign.”

Don Kurth is the elected mayor of Rancho Cucamonga, the largest city wholly located within the 63rd District. He has also served as a city councilman and Cucamonga Water District Trustee. A Physician and former local Chamber of Commerce president, Dr. Kurth currently owns a local Urgent Care Medical Clinic and serves on the faculty at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. He is also the incoming National President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Don is married to Dee Matreyek.

Paul Schrader announces candidacy for San Bernardino County Sheriff

PRESS RELEASE January 19, 2010

ELECT PAUL SCHRADER FOR A FRESH START

Paul Schrader has announced his candidacy for sheriff of San Bernardino County in the June 2010 election.

Mr. Schrader has 27 years of law enforcement experience at city, county and federal levels. He currently works as a Deputy Sheriff Bonus One with the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department.

Raised in Arkansas, Paul Schrader was taught that hard work and dedication pay off. He was active in his community as a Boy Scout and a law enforcement Explorer. He worked with youth in bike safety programs and as a camp adviser.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Schrader enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was sent to San Diego boot camp. He then became part of 1st Marines as an infantryman.

Two years later, he joined the military police, and was then assigned to work as an undercover narcotics operative at the Naval Investigative Intelligence Service (NIS).

Paul continued his career in law enforcement for the next 25 years working in city, county and federal positions in the jails as a supervisor, logistics team member, patrol member, legal unit supervisor, audit team supervisor, risk analysis team  supervisor, film/media relations/operations supervisor and on a merger team of two agencies as a supervisor. He has completed 50 units toward his degree in Administration of Justice. He is continuing his education.

Paul has taken several training classes throughout his career and received several law enforcement awards.

A dedicated family man, Paul Schrader, 47, and his wife Judith Bell Schrader have been married for 21 years and live in Rancho Cucamonga. They have five children: Abby, Anna, Amy, Amber and April. Paul has a strong family investment to keep San Bernardino County safe.

Paul was elected as President for 2 years, then Vice-President, in his home owners association.  Paul was able to maintain a budget, and never raise dues in a community of 540 homes. During this past year, Paul has appeared on the TV show NBC the Filter with Fred Rogginas a political contributor. Paul and his family are active in their church, Water of Life in Fontana. They go with the church several times a year to help feed the homeless at skid row in Los Angeles. He is also active at the Churchs new food warehouse in Fontana, helping feed the poor.

Paul Schrader is committed to bringing a fresh start to the San Bernardino Sheriffs Department, by drawing from his years of public service experience, along with training, innovation and technology. Paul will inspire the sworn staff and professional staff to enforce the law in a fair manner and defend the rights of all. He is dedicated to make San Bernardino County a safe place to live, work and raise a family, by promoting strong law enforcement and public partnerships that will enhance the quality of life within our communities.

I, Paul Schrader, approve this press release. My e-mail address is SheriffPaul@Charter.Net

For more information on upcoming events, go to my Facebook page:

Elect Paul Schrader for Sheriff.My website www.sheriffpaul.net will be coming soon.

Thanks,

Paul Schrader

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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Jeb Stipe / Ty McDowell Procured Rapist Case

Jebidiah James Stipe Ty Oliver McDowell

CASPER — A man accused of violently raping a woman inside her Casper home about two weeks ago believed he was acting out a sexual fantasy the woman requested on an Internet site, according to his attorney.

Ty Oliver McDowell, 26, has been charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated burglary.

During a preliminary hearing in Natrona County Circuit Court on Tuesday, public defender Timothy Charles Cotton suggested that his client is accused of raping a woman he thought wanted to play out a lurid sexual fantasy.

Police, though, say the woman didn’t post the Craigslist ad that spurred McDowell’s alleged actions. Instead, authorities determined that Jebidiah James Stipe — with whom the alleged victim had a brief romantic relationship — posted the ad on Dec. 5. He pretended to be the woman named in the advertisement, investigators say.

Conspiracy charge

Stipe, a Carbon County native, has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault. The 27-year-old Marine currently based in Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, remains in the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, California

[ Booking # 0912090115 - 05/14/1982 - 170 / 5'6" - Brown / Blue - Arrested 12/16/2009 16:40 at 6527 Whitefeather Road, Joshua Tree - Charges: PC1551.1 - No Bail, no appearance date set as of today ]

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Twentynine Palms Marine solicited and procured the sexual assault of Casper woman

“Enlisted in the Marines in 2001, went to Cherry Point NC, then to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, then back for OIFII, and in about 2 weeks I’m going back for a 3rd time. Married to a beautiful woman from Washington. Have 2 beautiful boys who are the lights of my life. I am getting out of the Marines in July and going up to Washington to be the town sheriff.” – Jebidiah James Stipe

Jebidiah Stipe Feb 03 2005
“NEW SON!!!  Born on March 19 2004, 6lbs, 7 ounces, red hair, blue eyes, GORGOUS!!”

Rawlins, WY
Yakima, WA
Sinclair, WY
Havelock, NC

Twentynine Palms, CA TWENTYNINE PALMS – A marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms is behind bars at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, charged with setting up the rape of a woman in Casper, Wyoming.

Prosecutors in Natrona County, Wyoming, say 27-year-old Jebidiah James Stipe (photo above) “solicited and procured the sexual assault of an adult female” in the Casper area through the use of Craigslist, an Internet site that allows users to post classified ads at little or no charge.

“All charges in this case stem from a series of activities alleged to have begun by Mr. Stipe by the use of the Internet site Craigslist,” said Natrona County District Attorney Michael Blonigen.

A Casper man has been arrested for the actual rape of the woman on December 11, and faces a preliminary hearing on December 29.  Ty Oliver McDowell, a 26-year-old, is jailed with $250,000 bail.

Problems for Stipe may not be confined to his native Wyoming.

A Casper newspaper points out eerie similarities between the Wyoming case and a North Carolina case, where a man hired someone to rape his wife while he watched.

The Marine Corps. couldn’t comment on Stipe’s performance on-base, other than to say Stipe was being processed for administrative separation as a result of a pattern of misconduct at the time he was arrested for the Wyoming case.

Legal concealed weapons can help keep citizens safe

Three cheers for the three Riverside County supervisors who voted yes for resolution 2009-348, which urges Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff to allow “personal defense” as “good cause” in issuing carrying concealed weapon permits to law-abiding applicants who meet administrative qualifications.

This may cause some discomfort for people who are not familiar with firearms, so I’ve written this article in hopes of helping rational-thinking people understand how this makes our community more safe than dangerous.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department selects the Crown Pointe Technologies FTO System

Crown Pointe Technologies, a leading technology firm focused on public safety training systems and based in Portland, Oregon, was selected to implement its FTO (Field Training Officer) System at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in San Bernardino County, California.

The Crown Pointe FTO System was specifically designed to simplify the complex data entry, reporting, and management requirements of an FTO training program. By providing easy to use integrated tools, participants in the process can save significant time and costs by eliminating Excel spreadsheets and paper documents most often used to maintain daily updated training records. The ability to interactively create, edit, spell-check, evaluate, print, secure, report on, and archive FTO saves significant officer time and costs.

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Massive internal fraud in San Bernardino County social services arm

News emerged this weekend related to a massive internal fraud, a portion of which was recently uncovered within the agency responsible for the delivery of San Bernardino County’s social services programs.

iePolitics has learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds meant to provide aid for the disadvantaged has been illegally diverted by county personnel in an ongoing massive theft. It is believed that several schemes and abuses has been uncovered.

The San Bernardino County Human Services System, commonly referred to as HSS, administers the county’s various social services programs such as general assistance, Medi-Cal, and welfare. Annually, Hundreds of millions of dollars pass through HSS and into the hands of the needy who legitimately qualify for assistance.

News from well-placed sources inside HSS tell a story of employees routinely entering false data into computer systems to approve Medi-Cal and direct cash payments to family, friends, and vendors.

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Big Bear: Community Needs Forum Set for Wednesday, December 2

The public has ideas, and the governments of the Valley are all ears.

A community needs forum is set for Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 1:30 p.m. Members of all areas of Big Bear Valley are invited, along with merchants and service organization representatives. The audience is invited to share ideas on needs for public safety, facility access, transportation, fire protection, education, child care, healthcare, recreation, housing, blight, employment, homelessness and code enforcement.

The forum is a cooperative effort among the city of Big Bear Lake and San Bernardino County’s Department of Community Development and Housing. The forum is to help identify the development and housing needs of low-and-moderate income residents.

Input is important as the city develops grant applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Results from the forum will be used to establish funding strategies and priorities for various programs and grants.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in Hofert Hall at the Big Bear Lake Civic Center, 39707 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake. For more information, call the city’s planning department at 909-866-5831 or e-mail bblplan@citybigbearlake.com.

Big Bear: Neil Derry Fired Don Allen

Don Allen wants to set the record straight. He did not resign his seat on the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District advisory commission five months ago.

“I was removed,” said Allen, who represented the community of Moonridge on the board until June 30.

Allen was serving as the commission president at the time of his dismissal by San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor Neil Derry. The commission met with Derry in May to discuss several issues including Big Bear City Park. One month later, Allen received a four-sentence letter dated June 30 advising him that he would no longer be on the commission. Derry stated in the letter that he wished to give others “an opportunity to serve their community and hopefully generate new ideas and perspectives.”

Derry confirmed the reason during a telephone interview with The Grizzly on Nov. 24. “I just felt there was an opportunity to give others in the community to serve,” Derry said. He declined to comment further on why he specifically chose to remove Allen from the seat.

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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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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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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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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.

Sheriff Hopefuls Offer Differing Law Enforcement Philosophieschallenger,

SAN BERNARDINO— The two declared candidates for sheriff in next year’s election faced off October 7 in a forum sponsored by the Safety Employees Benefit Association, the union representing the sheriff’s department’s deputies.

Sheriff Rod Hoops, the incumbent, like his challenger, deputy Mark Averbeck, has never actually faced the voters. Hoops was appointed sheriff by the board of supervisors in January after he was endorsed by former sheriff Gary Penrod, who retired two years into his fourth term as sheriff on February 1.

Thus, Hoops is the flag bearer for the political machine that has controlled the sheriff’s office in San Bernardino County going back to 1954. Penrod, who was first elected in 1994, was endorsed by his predecessor, Dick Williams, who was elected sheriff in 1990 with the endorsement of his predecessor, Floyd Tidwell. Tidwell, who served two terms, was handpicked by Frank Bland, who was first elected in 1954 and was then reelected five times. The same political machine that Bland controlled has now been inherited by Hoops. That machine carries with it tremendous political fund raising capability, such that Hoops already has a several hundred thousand dollar advantage over any challengers in terms of money banked in his campaign war chest.

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County Extends Contract with Corruption Figure’s Firm

The county has extended by one year the contract it has with its Sacramento lobbyist, Platinum Advisors, despite a scandal involving the company and its simultaneous representation of the county and a company from whom the county purchased the Adelanto jail for $31.2 million in 2005.

After whispers of the double dealing involving former Assemblyman and Platinum Advisors employee Brett J. Granlund relating to the county’s purchase of the Maranatha Correctional Facility in Adelanto were heard, the county detailed Los Angeles-based attorney Leonard Gumport to look into the matter. In July 2006 Gumport’s finding was publicly released, indicating that Granlund had used his position of trust as a county lobbyist to suggest to the county’s top officials that they should purchase the prison without disclosing to them that he and his firm represented the jail’s owner.

Gumport reached the conclusion that Granlund, by participating in the negotiations for the sale of the jail, inappropriately benefited from the deal.

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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.

Deputy declares intention to run for San Bernardino County Sheriff

A 24-year San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy has announced his candidacy for sheriff in the June 2010 election.

Mark Averbeck, 47, of Redlands, will appear at a question-and-answer session sponsored by the Safety Employees Benefit Association, the union representing county law enforcement employees, at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the San Bernardino Hilton.

Averback works in the transportation division at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga and previously spent more than 17 years as a patrol deputy in Yucaipa and San Bernardino.

Sheriff Rod Hoops, who was appointed in February to fill out the remainder of former Sheriff Gary Penrod’s term, has indicated that he intends to run for a full-term.

See Good ol’ Boys

S.B. County gives no-bid contract to firm headed by supervisor’s

A Rancho Cucamonga firm is being paid $150,000 to measure the quality of life in San Bernardino County in a contract that did not go out to competitive bidding.

The La Jolla Institute, a research and economic development nonprofit group, was awarded the contract Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

In a report to his fellow supervisors, Board President Gary Ovitt, who proposed the contract, said the county needed to bypass its usual bidding process — which could have saved money — because of the time constraints of producing a report for the February 2010 State of the County address. The firm also brings special expertise, he said.

Ovitt has used noncompetitive contracts in the past for projects he favors, including over $800,000 for about a half-dozen contracts over the past two years to market Chino Airport to attract business. Time constraints were also cited for using noncompetitive contracts in some of those instances.

One county resident questioned the need for such a study at Tuesday’s meeting.

“You should know about the quality of life in your own district,” said Cheryl Anaya, a Lytle Creek resident.

In response to a question from her, Ovitt also acknowledged that the president of the institute, Steve PonTell is a “great friend” of his. But he said he favored the contract because of the company’s past work and its plan to hire three former county officials with expertise on the region as subcontractors.

The report will be paid for through the board’s discretionary budget for projects in Ovitt’s 4th district. It will measure health, social, education and economic indicators and be used by the county for economic development efforts, he said.

The firm has prepared annual community indicator reports in Orange County for the past decade.

The latest report includes a wide assortment of data from high school dropout rates to substance abuse trends.

The county already gets a snapshot of its quality of life through annual reports by the Southern California Association of Governments and San Bernardino Associated Governments.

However, Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said the report prepared by the La Jolla Institute would be more comprehensive.

Reach Imran Ghori at 951-368-9558 or ighori@PE.com

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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Anti-drug groups push for county ban on pot dispensaries

Anti-drug advocacy groups have launched a campaign admonishing San Bernardino County supervisors for considering permitting medical marijuana dispensaries.

San Bernardino County, which will begin issuing medical marijuana cards in mid-August, has issued a temporary moratorium on marijuana dispensaries while a county committee studies approaches for regulating and zoning the facilities.

“The focus is on trying to come up with some guidelines that will help dispensaries coexist with local communities,” said David Wert, spokesman for San Bernardino County.

In their push to prohibit the marijuana centers, the Inland Valley Drug-free Community Coalition and Save Our Society From Drugs cite a report by the California Police Chiefs Association released in April, suggesting that dispensaries often lead to higher crime rates and more traffic, noise and blight in the surrounding communities.

DJ Ross, executive manager of the Yucca Valley-based California Alternative Medicinal Solutions — the only marijuana dispensary in San Bernardino County — argues there isn’t enough “non-biased” research to confirm dispensaries are dangerous to the community.

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Check out (“Spirit of the Law”) Nancy K. Bohl (Penrod’s wife) for yourself, and see where your tax money is going

California Peer Support Association

2009 Annual Conference and Training

Conference Schedule

WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2009

See also:

Hoops pays back the Good Ol’ Boys

Raymond S. G. Pryke v. Gary Penrod, County of San Bernardino, B. Chambers, Dino Defazio and Does, filed June 23, 2009

Raymond Pryke ordered to pay sanctions, costs in libel lawsuit by Penrod’s wife

Handheld stealth

New technology should not be a tool for subverting citizens’ power to monitor government actions. San Bernardino County‘s example shows the need for cities and counties to ensure that all communications about official business are open to public scrutiny.

County special counsel John Hueston raised the issue in his investigation of the county assessor’s office. His report, released last week, showed officials bypassing the state’s Public Records Act. Hueston found that former county Assessor Bill Postmus and his aides used personal messages on BlackBerries to avoid leaving any record of their discussions.

Turns out the county does not monitor instant messages, though it could do so. That task should be a top priority for the county, given what Hueston uncovered. A county with a dismal history of scandal cannot afford complacency about steps that safeguard government integrity.

The county cannot credibly take a stand against official corruption while leaving a giant technology-based loophole in public accountability. Nor, after Hueston’s report, can the county argue that such communication is not worth tracking.

See also: Corrupt Officials Skirt Open Records Law

See all San Bernardino County posts here.

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San Bernardino County accused of violating Brown Act

San Bernardino County is being accused of violating the Brown Act, California’s open-meeting law, as it challenges the state’s medical marijuana user program.

San Bernardino County joined San Diego County three years ago in challenging the program, which requires it to issue medical-marijuana identification cards to patients.

The counties petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case last week. The courts have so far ruled against them, upholding the medical marijuana law approved by voters in 1996.

The Marijuana Policy Project, a national marijuana policy reform organization, said Wednesday that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has failed to keep the public informed of its decisions to appeal.

See also:

County Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Erase State’s Medical Marijuana Law

Lawsuit filed over refusal to issue medical marijuana card

County no friend to medical pot patients

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Temecula Clinic Offers Consultations on Medical Marijuana

A clinic specializing in medical marijuana treatment has opened in Temecula. This is the first time such a clinic has opened in the Temecula Valley.On Oct. 11, Alternative Care Clinics ( ACC ), a San Diego-based medical group, opened an office on Enterprise Circle.

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County Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Erase State’s Medical Marijuana Law

San Diego County filed papers this week asking the U.S. Supreme Court to erase California’s medical marijuana law, arguing that federal prohibitions outlawing the substance supersede California’s law allowing sick people to use it.

The county is asking the nation’s highest court to overturn a state appellate court’s July decision upholding the voter-approved law legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

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Local Drug Plans Scored

In a blistering report on the county’s plan to implement Proposition 36 (Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000), a national drug policy foundation on Wednesday said the county is bolstering the criminal justice system instead of emphasizing drug treatment.

The Lindesmith Center, which backed the measure that mandates treatment over incarceration as an alternative to the nation’s war on drugs, gave San Bernardino County its lowest grade: F.

The New York-based center criticized the county’s budget for drug treatment, its lack of treatment services and its failure to have meetings to garner public reaction.

“San Bernardino County has ignored the will of the voters,” the report said.  “It has an implementation plan that is likely to fail.”
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