SBSun.com-Since his election in 2002, District Attorney Michael Ramos has made steady progress on his pledge to fight corruption in San Bernardino County.
He began by establishing the district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit to review complaints related to local government agencies and continues today with the ongoing prosecution of former government officials and a developer accused of corruption related to the $102 million settlement of a land dispute between the county and Colonies Partners LP.
Additionally, Ramos has used the past decade-plus in office to create specialized units to combat some of the most serious criminal justice and quality-of-life issues in San Bernardino County and has forged valuable relationships with state lawmakers that have benefited the county.
Voters should elect Ramos to a fourth term on June 3 so that he can continue this important work.
Ramos’ sole challenger in the election comes from within his own department — Grover Merritt, a 27-year member of the District Attorney’s Office who currently prosecutes identify theft cases.
Merritt, who faults Ramos for failing to fight realignment of the California prison system and the recent overhaul of the San Bernardino County Superior Court system, says he would be a more vocal voice in matters that affect employee morale and services to taxpayers.
Merritt contends Ramos spends too much time on wrong-headed policy issues, such as reforming the death penalty in California, and not enough time managing his own department. He’d like to see fewer plea bargains and more resources dedicated to some of the DA’s specialized units, particularly those focused on “21st century” crimes such as identity theft and financial crimes.
Merritt is entitled to his opinion about Ramos’ priorities, and certainly additional funding would make it easier for the district attorney to beef up the specialized prosecutorial units, but when it comes to the DA’s biggest ongoing case — the ongoing effort to recoup $102 million given to an Upland-based developer in a questionable legal settlement — Merritt is the one who’s on the wrong side.
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