Amongst the Halloween photos, columns and big news stories in this issue is a small article you may have missed and I don’t want you to.
Read the little page 5 story J.P. Crumrine wrote and this is why it’s significant.
Right now, as I write this column, the Inland Regional Joint Corruption Task Force is holding a press conference on the largest underground bribery case in history involving former Moreno Valley Councilman Marcelo Co, who has pleaded guilty to taking $2.36 million — trading confidential information to fund his personal bank account.
The FBI, the lead agency, and both San Bernardino and Riverside district attorney offices, as members of the task force, have been involved in several public corruption investigations. “This task force utilizes both local and federal laws to root out corruption within government entities and prosecute offenders,” as stated on the Riverside DA website.
With the corruption we’ve seen in recent times in San Jacinto, San Bernardino and now Moreno Valley, it is particularly relevant to see two Riverside County supervisors treating their constituency as fellow citizens and urging more transparency of their public actions.
Also, a judge in Los Angeles recently declared a serial meeting had occurred with the City of Malibu involving email exchanges that evolved into reaching decisions hidden from the public — a direct violation of the Brown Act.
And so, with so much secrecy among local governments close to home, it is refreshing to see at least two members of a governmental body take an opposite approach and actually embrace their roles to serve without disrespect, greed and arrogance guiding that decision.
In a position of power, government officials hold great influence in the jurisdictions they serve; but they must not single out to serve those who can satisfy personal gains. Not in a public office; not on our tax dimes.
Becky Clark, Editor