Keith Bushey, who served as the Marshal of San Bernardino County from 1996 until 1999 when the department merged with the Sheriff’s Department, today endorsed Sheriff John McMahon. McMahon is one of three candidates running for San Bernardino County Sheriff.
After former Sheriff Rod Hoops retired in 2012, Bushey submitted his name for consideration by the Board of Supervisors for appointment to complete Hoops’ term of office. Bushey had served as a deputy chief in the department after the merger until his retirement. The board appointed then-Assistant Sheriff McMahon over Bushey and applicant Paul Schrader.
Bushey said in a written statement, “It is my honor to strongly endorse Sheriff John McMahon for election as Sheriff of San Bernardino County. As someone who has been acquainted with him for a number of years, and who actually challenged his appointment by the Board of Supervisors, I am very familiar with the department, the challenges that lie ahead, and with John personally.
“Not only is he the only qualified candidate, but more importantly he is a good and decent man who has grown enormously in the past year, and who has worked hard and effectively in developing the commendable skills and knowledge that are now serving the department and the county very well.” This is McMahon’s first election since his appointment.
Cliff Harris, a former Sheriff’s Department employee, and Paul Schrader, a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, are also running for the top cop spot in California’s third largest law enforcement agency. The Schrader campaign is running a particularly nasty and dirty campaign, making wild, unfounded accusations.
In his statement, Bushey, who also served as a commander for the Los Angeles Police Department and is recognized nationally for his law enforcement expertise, addressed the unsavory campaign tactics. “I remain troubled and puzzled by the unfair and exaggerated criticism leveled by Sheriff McMahon’s detractors.
“As someone who travels extensively throughout the United States, providing leadership training to law enforcement executives, I can say unequivocally that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is a great agency that provides solid and professional service to the county. Like all departments, there are occasional problems that develop; that is what happens when we recruit from the human race. However, John McMahon enjoys the confidence of not only members of his department, but also that of other agencies with whom the SBSD interacts.
“Without suggesting the absence of isolated and individual failings, I must remind others that the assertions and lawsuits by career criminals, seeking to get their hands into the deep pockets of the county, hardly constitutes a pattern of corruption! As a former member of the executive staff who played a role in the discipline of a number of employees who used excessive force, I can say unequivocally that any suggestion of systemic misconduct or managerial indifference is nonsense. “
The Primary Election is June 3. If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, the top two vote getters will face off in November.