The battle for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor Third District seat officially began Monday following San Manuel Tribal Chairman James Ramos’ announcement that he intended to run against incumbent Neil Derry.
Ramos made the announcement before a group of friends and supporters, according to a written statement released by Ramos.
“Over the past several months, I have received numerous phone calls from leaders in our community asking that I consider running for the Board of Supervisors," Ramos explained through the written statement on why he decided to run.
And after Third District Supervisor Neil Derry was accused of felony perjury and filing campaign documents that failed to report a $5,000 contribution, Ramos said the call for his candidacy gained a sense of urgency, he said.
“After discussing the idea with many leaders who I respect, and with my family, I have decided to announce today that I am a candidate for supervisor,” Ramos said Monday.
On April 26, the Attorney General’s office filed a complaint against Derry accusing him of felony perjury and failing to report a $5,000 contribution from Arnold Stubblefield-Highland Town Shops. Derry is also accused of failing to report Stubblefield as a contributor, which is a misdemeanor.
"The people of San Bernardino County have been let down time and time again," Ramos said. "Public faith in our institutions and elected officials is crucial in our democracy. The people cannot have faith in their government when key government officials are being indicted and being forced to recuse themselves from important duties and votes due to legal problems."
Soon after the announcement, the Derry camp released its own statement.
Painting all Casino Indians with broad brush, Derry apparently says if one Indian doesn't pay his taxes, they all must be cheats. Well, Mr. Derry, I can tell you that is quite wrong. Before the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians cheated our family out of $1.3 MILLION each, I can tell you we paid taxes, a LOT of them.
Referring to Ramos as the San Manuel Casino Boss, Derry called for Ramos to release his personal income and property tax records. He challenged the tribal chairman to prove he’s has been paying state or local taxes, citing a Los Angeles Times report that that his tribal chairman predecessor did not.
“Is Mr. Ramos a tax scofflaw too?” Derry wrote.
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