District Attorney Mike Ramos Receives Endorsement from San Bernardino County Law Enforcement Group


District Attorney Mike Ramos, who is currently serving his fourth term, has received the endorsement of the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA).

“Mike Ramos has proven his commitment to public safety,” said SEBA President Grant Ward. “Our 3,700 law enforcement professionals who protect this community give Ramos our endorsement.”

SEBA represents over 3,700 public safety professionals who work for several local departments and associations such as San Bernardino County deputy sheriffs, district attorney investigators, probation corrections officers, specialized fire services and coroner investigators.

SEBA joins a long list of support for District Attorney Ramos’ reelection campaign which includes Sheriff John McMahon, every Chief of Police in San Bernardino County, Inland Chapter of Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), and multiple police officer associations: Redlands Police Officers Association, Ontario Police Officers Association and Fontana Police Officers Association.

“I am honored to have the support of SEBA for my reelection campaign,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “Every day our law enforcement officers risk their lives so that our communities can be safe and free from criminals, and I will continue to support their selfless efforts as long as I am District Attorney.”

San Bernardino County Prosecutors Endorse District Attorney Mike Ramos for Reelection

I am honored to have the support of our hardworking deputy district attorneys, who work every day to protect the citizens of our county.
— District Attorney Mike Ramos

The Public Attorneys Association Prosecutors PAC, which represents over 200 Deputy District Attorneys in San Bernardino County, has endorsed District Attorney Mike Ramos for reelection.

“District Attorney Mike Ramos is a tireless prosecutor and dedicated leader who understands the justice system,” said Deputy District Attorney Lance Cantos, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association Prosecutors PAC. “As District Attorney he has built strong relationships in both the law and justice community and proven to be a outspoken advocate for victims.”

Cantos noted the decision was based on Ramos’ continued support of the association and help in retaining the best lawyers to become San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorneys, as well as the relationships he has built with other community leaders.

“I am honored to have the support of our hardworking deputy district attorneys, who work every day to protect the citizens of our county,” said District Attorney Ramos.

Crime Victims’ Group Endorses District Attorney Mike Ramos for Reelection

District Attorney Mike Ramos has always been a great supporter of victims and victims’ rights and we at Crime Victims United look forward to working alongside him in whatever capacity you need.
— Crime Victims United Chair, Harriet Salarno.

The Campaign to Reelect Mike Ramos for District Attorney 2018 announced today receiving the endorsement from one of the largest groups that advocates on behalf of crime victims: Crime Victims United of California (CVU).

“District Attorney Mike Ramos has always been a great supporter of victims and victims’ rights and we at Crime Victims United look forward to working alongside him in whatever capacity you need,” said Crime Victims United Chair, Harriet Salarno.

Crime Victims United of California is the only organization of its kind — using education, legislative advocacy and political action to enhance public safety, promote effective crime-reduction measures and strengthen the rights of crime victims. They are one of the most recognizable crime victims groups in the nation.

“I believe San Bernardino County deserves an experienced district attorney, and one who has a proven track record to support victims at the local and national and state levels,” said District Attorney Ramos. “Make no mistake, if I am fortunate enough to serve another term as your district attorney, I will continue to be an outspoken advocate for victims.”

The election for San Bernardino County District Attorney will be held June 5, 2018. To connect with DA Ramos, please visit www.joinmikeramos.com, or via his social media channels on Facebook or Twitter at @JoinMikeRamos.

In The News: San Bernardino County DA implies challenger is a puppet funded by former Colonies defendants

It's obvious why he filed so late. Follow the money!


 San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun

PUBLISHED: March 5, 2018 at 4:44 pm | UPDATED: March 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said he knows that his strongest challenger in the June primary election is being funded heavily by the vindicated Colonies corruption case defendants and their supporters.

“I know they’re upset, and I also know they’re coming after me, and I also know they’re going to fund a candidate,” Ramos said during a recent interview at his office.

Ramos was referring to Jason Anderson, a 17-year veteran county prosecutor who became a defense attorney in 2014. Anderson announced his candidacy last month.

“He’s their candidate. They would love to have their puppet in here,” Ramos said of Anderson. He said the former Colonies defendants already have sought more than $100 million from the county in legal claims since the trial, and are now pooling their resources to fund Anderon’s campaign.

“They’d love to have a D.A. in here that would support them and open up that checkbook. And that’s Jason,” said Ramos, the county’s top prosecutor since 2002 who is seeking his fifth term in office.


Ramos’ candidacy comes in the aftermath of one of the biggest bungled corruption cases in county history, costing perhaps tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money. The nearly decade-long criminal investigation and 8-month trial ended in acquittal for three of the defendants and dismissal of all charges against a fourth defendant last summer. But the exact cost may never be known. The District Attorney’s Office maintains it does not keep a record of such figures in the cases it prosecutes.

The vindicated defendants — Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, former county supervisor Paul Biane, former assistant assessor Jim Erwin, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to former county supervisor Gary Ovitt — have taken legal action.

Rancho Cucamonga investor group Colonies Partners, of which Burum is co-managing partner and was a focal point in the criminal case, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state and county on Thursday, March 1, seeking $80 million in damages, $60 million in general damages and $20 million in punitive damages.

Anderson denied that he is the “Colonies candidate,” but noted the defendants have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights and back the candidate of their choice.

“I’ve got no commitment from anybody. I didn’t pull my papers until the beginning of February. So am I the Colonies’ candidate? No!” Anderson said.

Defense attorney and former San Bernardino County prosecutor Jason Anderson is challenging incumbent Mike Ramos for District Attorney in this year’s election.<br />(Stan Lim, San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

He said he was also unaware that Erwin and Kirk formed a political action committee last month supporting his candidacy. As of Monday, Business Leaders for Fair and Ethical Government already had raised $307,600. Burum contributed $149,100 to the PAC on Thursday, March 1, according to the PAC’s finance records.

“Do I suspect that people that are involved with Colonies and are supporters of those people that went through what they went through — are they going to come and support me directly? Perhaps they will, I mean I have to get my message out, right?” said Anderson. “And so there are people with resources that are going to, if they want to donate to me, then they can do that.”

Anderson said he has his own campaign committee, Jason Anderson for District Attorney, that is limited to contributions not exceeding $4,400, the maximum allowed per county ordinance.

Anderson, a former Ontario councilman and planning commissioner, said he is relying on support from his friends and colleagues in the legal and law enforcement communities. He acknowledged he’s friends with Kirk.


To illustrate the role Burum and his friends and/or business associates are playing in Anderson’s campaign, Ramos pointed out contributions made to the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association PAC on Dec. 5, 2017. On that day, Burum and several friends and/or business associates contributed more than $50,000 to the PAC, then on the same day purchased four slate mailers for Anderson’s campaign, according to Ramos. Burum himself donated $27,000 to the PAC, according to campaign finance statements.

“Now you tell me that’s not money laundering. They’re getting away from the campaign limits and they’re using these different ways of doing it,” said Ramos. “If that’s who the public wants as their District Attorney, then the voters are going to vote, and they’re going to say that’s who they want.”

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IN THE NEWS: DA won’t direct clean sweep of pot convictions in San Bernardino County

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer

Posted Feb 8, 2018 at 4:36 PM Updated Feb 9, 2018 at 11:28 AM

While some California prosecutors begin to retroactively expunge or reduce pot convictions en masse as afforded by Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, San Bernardino County’s top law enforcement official says he will “absolutely not” follow suit.

District Attorney Mike Ramos told the Daily Press this week despite actions by his peers in San Francisco and San Diego to proactively review cases and seek criminal record changes, this county’s prosecutors will instead follow the current as-requested formula set forth in the proposition.

“We have a system in place where an individual can petition the court to get their record (cleared),” he said by phone. “I think that system has worked pretty well for those who really want to rehabilitate and change their lifestyles.”

Meanwhile, advocacy groups like the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) support pending state legislation that would require the courts to automatically clean up records for individuals convicted of marijuana offenses that are either now no longer or lesser crimes.

NORML argues that “many aren’t aware that they qualify for re-sentencing, or can’t afford to bring a petition.”

Phyllis Morris, the Public Defender for San Bernardino County’s Public Defender’s Office, said that a court-backed system purge would remove the burden off her department, which is often under-resourced.

“The problem with recent laws is that they really put the burden on the client to act,” Morris told the Daily Press, “so we’re in this rehabilitative season — I don’t know how long it’s going to last — but if people have anything on their record, or any questions, they need to act.”

Currently, if someone contacts the Public Defender’s office, attorneys will research their case to determine all avenues for which they might be eligible, meaning potential changes not only due to Prop. 64 but also Prop. 47, the Three Strikes Reform Act, an incorrect rap sheet and other elements.

“We look at the global picture,” she said.

Her office will prepare the petitions and submit them to the DA’s office for review. If prosecutors sign off, it’s a done deal. If not, her office will file a petition with the court and request a hearing.

Either way, a court will ultimately have to OK the individual’s petition, but a judge will know beforehand whether it’s being contested or uncontested by the DA’s office.

Neither Morris or Ramos could immediately provide the most updated number of Prop. 64 petitions that have crossed through their offices since it passed in November 2016.

But according to potentially incomplete data reported by county courts throughout the state to the California Judicial Branch, there were 267 petitions submitted here, including two juvenile petitions, between November 2016 and September.

It’s less than half of what was submitted to courts in Los Angeles (617) and nearby Riverside (627) counties over the same period.

Speaking anecdotally, Morris said her office has seen less activity with Prop. 64 petitions than they have with Prop. 47, the ballot initiative approved in 2014 which reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors.

“And that’s what’s puzzling us,” she said, adding that even a significant number of their Prop. 64 cases had initially been submitted as Prop. 47, then individuals were told they qualified for the former.

But Morris said the recentness of Prop. 64 has likely played some factor in the lower number of petitions in this county.

“In my opinion, it seems like there was more talk, more debate around Prop. 47,” she said.

The Public Defender’s office does attend community outreach record-clearing clinics, however, which are spurred by community organizations first contacting them through a division branch. The clinic locations are hosted by the organizations, typically at churches, but attorneys do the work.

The office has so far conducted them in Victorville, San Bernardino, Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga, either on the weekend or in the evening after attorneys have wrapped up their daily calendar.

Ramos insisted he was “all for” petitioners being granted expungements or reductions in appropriate cases, yet also described how marijuana deals were often a part of the criminal economy perpetuated by gang members.

A clean sweep of what he estimated were 50,000 to 100,000 marijuana-related cases on file in this county would be a “huge disservice to the public,” he added, because of the intricacies involved in certain cases.

For instance, the DA’s office has prosecuted cases where a suspect might be facing auto theft and possession of marijuana charges. A plea bargain could have dismissed the more serious auto theft charge in an effort to push the suspect into drug court.

A blanket approach would enable that type of suspect to have his record cleared, he said, raising the specter that there was too much opportunity for collateral damage in the process.

The DA’s office also did not receive any additional funding to pore over marijuana cases nor do they have the staff to do so. It’s a resource deficiency he said he recently discussed with L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who shares his views.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, when he announced last week that his office would retroactively apply Prop. 64 to every marijuana case since 1975, said the city was leading efforts to “undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular.”

Ramos said he had not since reached out to Gascon or any other top county prosecutor beyond Lacey.

“I’m pretty solid on my position.”

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IN THE NEWS: San Bernardino County DA castigates ‘liberal’ board after six convicted murderers granted parole

Uploaded by sbcountyda on 2018-02-06.

Click here to view Press Release

“Are you kidding me? I mean what’s going on in this state?” Ramos told the Daily Press. “We’re going to have to take back this system.”

Strongly urging the governor to reject their recommendations, San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos castigated the California Board of Parole Hearings on Tuesday as liberal agendists after six convicted murderers in this County were granted parole last month.

“Are you kidding me? I mean what’s going on in this state?” Ramos told the Daily Press. “We’re going to have to take back this system.”

With views echoing those conveyed in a one-minute, 52-second video posted to the DA’s office Youtube account, Ramos told this newspaper that his office’s efforts to keep “the worst of the worst” behind bars have become noticeably more difficult in the past three years amid criminal justice reforms.

He said that his team of senior lawyers, part of the Lifer Parole Unit created in 2003 to attend hearings and assist victims’ families, have seen their relationship with the Parole Board deteriorate from working to adversarial.

“Since then, in the last few years, parole hearings have gone absolutely, absolutely horrendously in the wrong way,” he said in the video. “I am sick and tired of a liberal agenda being placed on the backs of victims of crime, especially those who have lost loved ones to murder.”

He also sharply criticized assessment tools for parole consideration, which he said included giving preference to convicts because they were older than 60.

One of six convicted murderers granted parole last month whose crime occurred in this county, Herman Monk, 68, had been convicted of killing his estranged wife in 1992 and sentenced the next year to 26 years to life in prison.

The murder occurred in Lytle Creek, where Monk took Denise Monk to a restaurant, plied her with three to five double-strength cocktails and then took her to a secluded mountain road to a turnout overlooking a steep cliff, according to the DA’s office.

“With their young child watching from the truck, Monk shoved Denise off the 3,500-foot cliff. The fall didn’t kill her,” the office said in a statement. “During trial, the evidence showed that Monk descended the cliff to Denise’s resting place and bashed her head in with a rock as she lay incapacitated.”

Other convicted murderers granted parole included Robert Seabock, who killed a guard in a Chino prison in 1972; Christopher Asay, who robbed and killed an armored car driver in Baker in 1987; Mark Barros, who slit his girlfriend’s throat and stabbed her multiple times in Rialto in 1990; Francisco Villasenor, who shot and killed a person after breaking into their apartment and seeking purportedly stolen drug money either in or before 1993; and Gilbert Colon, who shot and killed a teenager who tried to break up a fight in San Bernardino in 1993 between Colon and his wife.

Ramos added the sheer number of parole approvals here in a single month was indicative of the worsening trend of leniency from the 15 governor-appointed commissioners who work under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with CDCR, pushed back on Ramos’ assertions, saying the board under the law must assess whether individuals have turned their lives around and they reject parole the vast majority of the time.

“Unfortunately, D.A. Ramos is wrong on the facts and politicizing a serious process that’s been in place in California for more than a century,” Waters said in an email to the Daily Press. “The Parole Board is made up of law enforcement and public safety professionals with decades of experience, including a former prison warden, assistant sheriff, CHP division chief and supervising deputy district attorney, among others.”

CDCR officials say that several factors are submitted into consideration to determine whether an inmate should be granted parole, including whether they pose a current unreasonable risk to public safety.

The board also mulls input from the district attorney and testimony of victims or their next of kin, while also considering the inmate’s behavior during their incarceration.

The board rejects parole roughly 80 percent of the time, officials say, adding that life-term inmates have the lowest recidivism rates of all inmates released by CDCR.

Gov. Jerry Brown will have the ultimate say-so in all of these recommendations.

San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Connie Lasky, who is a member of the County’s Lifer Parole Unit, said the governor’s office will be notified of the grant of parole usually within 120 days and then has 30 days to review and either affirm or reverse each.

CDCR officials added that the board has up to 120 days to conduct a legal review under this process, and only submit the case to the governor if there are no found issues.

Transcripts of the full hearing for each inmate are available one month after the hearings take place.

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SBSUN: To parole or not to parole? Debate sparked after panel says Inland killers have redeemed themselves, should be freed

By Stephen Ramirez | stramirez@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily BulletinPUBLISHED: February 8, 2018 at 11:00 am | UPDATED: February 8, 2018 at 11:22 am

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos believes some crimes are so heinous that the perpetrators deserve to be locked up for as long as the law will allow it.

Others, like the California Board of Parole Hearings, believe that some inmates have turned their lives around and deserve to be freed.

The issue came to a head this week when it was announced that the state parole board ruled in January that six inmates convicted of murder should be granted parole.

The case that particularly tested Ramos’ patience is the case of Herman Clint Monk, who is accused of killing his estranged wife Denise in 1992.

At the time, Denise was living in Virginia with the couple’s 2 ½-year-old child, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release. Monk had reached out to her in the hopes of reconciling.

On the night of the slaying, the release said, Herman Monk drove her to a secluded mountain fire road and then shoved her off the cliff in the Lytle Creek area. Evidence at trial showed that the fall didn’t kill her – so Monk climbed down the cliff and hit Denise in the head with a rock.

Also granted parole in January were the following inmates convicted of murder:

  • Robert Seabock, who killed a Chino prison guard in 1972;
  • Francisco Villasenor, who around 1993 shot and killed a victim after breaking into the person’s  Chino apartment to steal back drug money he believed the victim had;
  • Mark Barros, who in 1990 stabbed his girlfriend to death in a Winchell’s parking lot in San Bernardino;
  • Christopher Asay, who killed a driver of an armored car in 1987 in Baker. Asay’s sentence was commuted to 25 years to life in August. In his application for clemency, he wrote: “I know that I cannot change the past, but I can and have done everything within my power to repent and improve myself.” Since being imprisoned, Asay has worked as a reader for the blind and taken self-help programs; and
  • Gilbert Colon, who shot and killed a 16-year-old boy in a San Bernardino apartment parking lot in 1993.

The specific reasons why individuals qualify for parole is not released until their hearing transcripts are made available, which typically is 30 days after their hearing.

The board’s ruling doesn’t mean the inmates will be automatically released. The board must alert the California Governor’s Office within 120 days and the governor then has 30 days to accept or reverse the decision.

‘Very frustrating’

“It’s very frustrating for me as the district attorney, because we work really hard in putting these cases together with law enforcement officers, with my lawyers going to trial and the families (of the victims) suffering through the trials,” Ramos said in an interview with this publication.

“Now you have a … soft-on-crime parole board that is making decisions that I truly believe are on the backs of victims and their families. All for this purpose of emptying out the prisons.”

It’s one thing, Ramos said, when talking about non-serious felons being released because of AB 109, “but when you start using the numbers to release killers … that’s horrible.”

AB 109, passed by California voters in 2011, is a public safety realignment initiative that defers convicted felons of non-serious, non-violent or non-sex-related crimes to be sentenced to county jail and/or non-custodial mandatory supervision, similar to probation. Before, individuals convicted of these types of crimes were sent to state prison.

Adds Ramos, who is up for re-election this year: “These are the cases where I can’t sleep at night knowing that families are suffering, because of these decisions that are being made up in Sacramento.”

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IN THE NEWS: Suspect in San Bernardino deputy's death described as career criminal, gang member

“This person needs to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
— District Attorney Mike Ramos

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- The suspect in the fatal attack on a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was described as a career criminal and gang member who has been in and out of the prison system for much of his adult life.

Suspect Alonzo Leron Smith, 30, is facing a charge of murder in the death of sheriff's Deputy Lawrence "Larry" Falce.

Smith has a history of arrests on his record, including two felony convictions, officials said.

"This person needs to spend the rest of his life in prison," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

Ramos was angry at changes to the law and court decisions that, he said, allowed the suspect to be on the street when he should have been in prison.

He said Smith was convicted of a felony in 2012, described as being a gang member committing street terrorism with use of a gun, that should have kept him in prison for 12 years.

But an appellate court later overturned the case, saying the law applied only if he was in the presence of a second gang member, when he was actually alone at the time of the crime.

Falce, 70, was off duty and driving his personal car when he was involved in a minor traffic accident around 10:50 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Kendall Drive and University Parkway, sheriff's officials said.

The crash occurred when Falce slowed down and swerved to avoid several loose dogs running in the street. The suspect rear-ended his vehicle.

Surveillance footage, captured from a local business, shows Falce and the suspect outside of their vehicles. The suspect is then seen striking the deputy once. ABC7 has chosen not to include the part of the video that shows the fatal blow.

Surveillance video captured the moment a suspect punched a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy on New Year's Eve, fatally wounding the veteran lawman.

Falce was severely injured in the incident, which investigators described as a brutal attack, and he died Tuesday night.

The suspect involved in the fight fled the scene. A Good Samaritan attempted a PIT maneuver on his vehicle to keep him at the scene, but he was still able to flee. Investigators were able to identify a suspect and arrested Smith hours after the incident while he was at his girlfriend's home.

Smith was arraigned Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty. He faces a charge of murder and other charges related to prior felony convictions.

A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy has died after being assaulted while off-duty following a traffic collision, officials said Tuesday.
Falce's sister, Marjorie, described her brother as selfless, one-of-a-kind and a man who treated everybody with respect.

"Luckily, my son and I were able to come, and we were visiting with my brother last week for the holidays and spent Christmas here, and to have this happen is a loss for sure, but to see the honor that they've bestowed upon him this evening and how the department has treated him is beyond anything I ever imagined," she said.

Falce had been with the department for 36 years and worked patrol at Central Station for the past 32 years. Before joining the department, he served in the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

He joined the force in 1981 and was the oldest sworn member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

A procession to honor the deputy and accompany his body from Loma Linda Hospital to the coroner's office was held Tuesday night.

Fellow deputies made a line from the hospital to the coroner's van and stood solemnly as Falce's body was wheeled out in a coffin draped with the American flag. The procession moved slowly through surface streets to the San Bernardino County coroner's office.

The Sheriff's Employees Benefits Association stated on Facebook that it would pay for Falce's funeral.

Falce is survived by his sister and his longtime girlfriend, Deborah, sheriff's officials said.


CAL FIRE Firefighters Endorse Mike Ramos for San Bernardino County District Attorney

CAL FIRE 2881.png


The campaign to re-elect Mike Ramos for San Bernardino County District Attorney announced today the endorsement of CAL FIRE Local 2881.

“Our active and retired members appreciate your strong belief in prosecuting matters regarding arsonists and drone use when it impedes firefighter operations and endangers our firefighters while they are protecting the communities,” said CAL FIRE Local 2881 President Mike Lopez.

CAL FIRE Local 2881 represents more than 6,500 men and women within CAL FIRE. They are the largest fire department in California and the third largest in the United States.

“I am honored to have earned the support of our local firefighters,” said Ramos. “I cannot express enough gratitude for their dedication to public safety and for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.”


Click here to read full endorsement.

Click here to visit CAL FIRE website.