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Top cops join forces against effort to oust them by defendants and fringe groups

John McMahon and Mike Ramos
John McMahon and Mike Ramos
John McMahon and Mike Ramos

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and Sheriff John McMahon distributed a joint mail piece this week defending their stance on crime in a county that has been riddled by political corruption for almost two decades. The two have been under attack by those that have been named as defendants in far-reaching cases as well as ultra-right-wing extremists who advocate for a variety of fringe causes.

Ramos has been instrumental in not only fighting public corruption in San Bernardino County but also initiating a wide range of programs to fight crime including the Gang Injunction Unit, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and the Animal Abuse Task Force. However, it is the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit that investigates and prosecutes public officials who commit crimes and those defendants that aid and abet them that has made for a volatile campaign.

Jeff Burum is one such unhappy defendant. He is under indictment as part of an alleged bribery and extortion scheme that resulted in a $102 settlement with the County of San Bernardino. His family, friends and business partners are contributing heavily to district attorney challenger Grover Merritt.

Merritt has aligned himself with Jim Erwin, another of the four defendants, and Chris Jones, his campaign manager. Jones has managed the campaigns of many candidates in the area who were eventually charged with and convicted of crimes by Ramos’ office.

After many years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, McMahon was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to finish out the term of retiring Sheriff Rod Hoops. In the short time McMahon has held the office, he made significant changes to restore morale among employees and trust with the public.

McMahon initiated the Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement program to deal with the county’s homeless population. He is also moving towards deputy-worn cameras, which is expected to reduce lawsuits and complaints.

Paul Schrader is McMahon’s main opponent. He is a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy running for the top spot in San Bernardino County. He recently latched on to the legalized drug movement and in response retired Redondo Beach Lt. Commander Diane Goldstein endorsed him.

Goldstein is a hardcore anti-law enforcement/pro-drug legalization zealot and sits on the board of directors of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). LEAP is a non-profit organization funded in part by George Soros and dedicated to ending the war on drugs through legalization and regulation.

Schrader is also endorsed by retired Sheriff Richard Mack, a controversial “constitutional sheriff.” After the recent showdown between federal officers and Clive Bundy at Bundy’s Utah ranch, Mack stated during an interview on Fox News that he and others “were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers. “

In San Bernardino County, the district attorney and the sheriff traditionally work together closely to reduce crime and keep neighborhoods safer. The joint mail piece suggests their partnership will continue into the future.

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