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.

Ramos’s payment of $10,000 to his wife for “campaign services” last year represents a potential issue for investigators, prosecutors and regulators in that 2008 was not an election year for the district attorney’s post in San Bernardino County. Furthermore, Ramos failed to disclose the $10,000 payment to his wife on his California Form 700 income disclosure documents.

Form 700s are intended to provide disclosure of the full range of elected and appointed governmental officials’ economic interests. Since California is a community property state, Ramos should have declared the payment to his wife as income to his household.

Ironically, earlier this year, Ramos charged another San Bernardino County official and political figure, former assistant assessor and county Third Supervisorial District chief of staff Jim Erwin, with ten felony counts for having failed to disclose on his 2008 Form 700 document income that had been provided to him in the form of $14,265 in gifts and accommodations he had received from Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum in 2007.

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