It is sounding more and more like the county is not going to stop in its pursuit of retaliating against the whistleblowers in the San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services Grand Jury and Fox 11 Los Angeles investigations. We’ve been hearing for a couple of weeks now of various ways they are trying to get to those who came forward.
The rumors of “warrants” for the whistleblowers seems to be just that, rumors. However, I’m not willing to completely discount them until this whole thing is over. The District Attorney’s office says it is not going to do the county’s bidding, which is smart. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Sheriff’s Department is not going to do so either. I hope that is correct as I think it would be political suicide for any elected official to go after whistleblowers where there are dead children.
I have not yet seen the report that Fox 11 Los Angeles did on Friday, but it was a half-hour report and included an interview with California Attorney General Kamala Harris. It is my understanding that she is very aware of this situation and did not seem too keen on the idea of going after the whistleblowers either.
That leaves one other option I can think of, not that I think it will happen. But I’ve heard from a source that the county may try to have District Attorney Mike Ramos recused for conflict of interest and get another District Attorney from a neighboring county to prepare the affidavits for warrants. I don’t even know if that is possible nor do I think it is likely, but it is out there as a rumor.
So what part of the rumors do I believe? Well, first of all, there is a rumor that there are numerous other whistleblowers besides those who came to me and went to Fox 11 Los Angeles. I suspect those would be the county employees summoned by the Grand Jury in its investigation. I’m willing to bet there are quite a few. Going after Grand Jury witnesses would be yet another slippery slope, but I don’t think the county cares.
In that vein, rumor has it that one Social Service Practitioner has been placed on Administrative Leave. Supposedly, the county believes he is a whistleblower but is going after him for something else. My guess it is for union activity, which is another slippery slope, but they got away with it with me and others. There are new unions in town, so if true, it shall be interesting to watch.
The biggest rumor of all, and the one I absolutely believe, is that the county is going to try to attack the alleged whistleblowers by going after their state licenses. They don’t need law enforcement to do that. All they need is a dishonest Human Resources Officer, of which there are many.
I personally witnessed this tactic when I worked at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in the Behavioral Health Unit. You have employees who spent anywhere from seven to twelve years in college getting the education to qualify for their licenses. County HROs know that and it is a threat they use to control the employees. They would not only lose their job, but also be unable to practice anywhere in the state, and depending on the allegations, anywhere in the country. Believe me, HROs, with the help of County Counsel, are not above making shit up. They will swear to anything under penalty of perjury because there are no consequences for them in this county. Just ask Travis Bauer or Rex Gutierrez.
As soon as the 30-minute piece from Friday is available online, I will write a story and post the video. Until then, feel free to send me any rumors you hear. My advice to the whistleblowers is to lawyer up. If anyone wants to recommend a good attorney, post it in the comments section.