San Bernardino County Political Corruption – a Never Ending Story

Bill Postmus

Former Republican San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus

County government in the County of San Bernardino has been the epicenter of County level corruption for years, outstripping the corrupt nature of Orange County of the 1970’s. Indictments and convictions of County officials, inside deals on real estate, dirty tricks and the like have abounded there for years.

On July 21 the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmas has been charged with 10 counts including appropriating public funds for personal use, possession of narcotics and failure to report receiving a $ 12,000 cashier’s check. The story reports that Postmas was arrested in January on drug charges and resigned his office a month later. The story goes on to report about assistants to Postmas also being charged and alleged boss-subordinate homosexual relationships also being part of the picture.  Click here for the full story.

The inland empire press has also reported that accusations are flying against the San Bernardino County District Attorney, the fellow charging and prosecuting Postmas. A former Assistant Assessor in San Bernardino County, himself charged with 10 felonies, has gone public with accusations that the District Attorney has engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct with women in his office.

At the same time there have been allegations of misuse of public property in the County Fire Department, and in the County Land Use Services Department.  The San Bernardino County Sun newspaper reports today that the Assistant County Executive Officer that oversees those two departments will be retiring while the Fire Chief and his Assistant are on paid administrative leave.

The picture that emerges is one of on-going good old boy corruption in San Bernardino County government over many years that has involved the sale and development of county owned land, the operation of county dumps and landfills, placement of billboards, misuse of public funds and property, and most anything else that can make money for favored special interests. A new development is that the District Attorney has asked State Attorney General Jerry Brown to step in and assist in an “expanding probe of corruption in San Bernardino County” and that the State will join that effort. (Los Angeles Times, August 18)

In short, things are a mess in County government in San Bernardino County. It’s been that way for years and it looks like it may get messier. Expect to hear more about this as time goes on. Life in the great IE, at least in political circles, is quite colorful.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.