Supervisor Comments on Gumport Report, San Bernardino County, 2006
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Statement of Supervisor Bill Postmus Regarding “Repor tofI nvest i gat i on of Lease and Purchase by San Bernardino County of Maranatha Correctional Facility in the City of Adelanto”, by Attorney Leonard Gumport My first priority as Chairman of the Board of Super v i sor sandast heBoar d’ s representative from the First District is to do everything within my power to maximize public safety in the County and in my district. That was my prime mot i v at i oni nwor ki ngt owar dt heCount y ’ sac qui si t i onoft heMar anat ha Correctional Facility in Adelanto. At the time we first considered acquiring a high desert jail as a temporary solution to our severe jail-overcrowding problem, the Sheriff had advised the Board that he was being forced to release hundreds of criminals due to lack of jail space. He advised us of the possible availability of two private prisons in Adelanto, and headv i sedust hats ec ur i ngoneoft hem f ort heCount y ’ susewascl ear l yt he quickest and most realistic way to significantly reduce the number of inmates being set free into our neighborhoods short of a long-term solution like constructing a new, state-of-the-art jail at a cost of several hundred million dollars. Att heBoar d’ sdi r ect i on,Count yst af faccompl i shedav i r t ualmi r acl ebysecur i ng the Maranatha facility in a very short amount of time while at every turn making sure that all County policies were adhered to, that responsible real estate practices were followed, and that the taxpayers were always protected. The allegations involving Brett Granlund were questionable from the start in that they were clearly motivated by revenge being sought by a disgruntled former business partner who had recently suffered public consequences related to his own questionable behavior. Regardless, the County did not hesitate to have the accusations investigated by outside counsel to help the County determine whether the public had been harmed. I have serious objections to the sensationalistic tone of Attorney Leonard Gumpor t ’ sr epor tr egar di ngt heMar anat haj ail lease/purchase. I am also di sappoi nt edt hathi sr epor t ’ sf ocuswasal l owedt owandersosi gni f i cant l yf r om its specific purpose, which was to determine whether Mr. Granlund or any other individual benefited inappropriately or illegally, monetarily or otherwise, from the t r ansact i on.Ther epor t ’ sf ocuswasnoti nt endedt obeMr .Gumpor t ’ sopi ni ons aboutanyot heraspec t soft hej ai l acqui si t i on.St i l l ,i fonel ookspastGumpor t ’ s hyperbole, loaded wording, and in some cases unsupported statements, I believe it is clear that the public was in no way harmed in the lease and eventual purchase of the Maranatha facility. Quite to the contrary, more than 700 criminals who would otherwise be roaming free are now behind bars. Meanwhile, the County has in its possession a quality facility that will serve us for decades to come, and for which we clearly paid a fair price. I am very proud of t heCount y ’ sact i onsi nr el at i ont ot hi spur chase,andIcommendandf ul l y support County Administrative Officer Mark Uffer and his staff for conducting this transaction in a completely ethical and responsible manner. Al loft hi si snott os ayt hatIwasn’ tconcer nedabouts omeofMr .Gumpor t ’ s assertions relative to these matters. With regard to Mr. Granlund, we have learned si ncet hecompl et i onofMr .Gumpor t ’ sr epor tthat Platinum Advisors, Gr anl und’ sempl oy erundercont r actwi t ht heCount y ,hadi ndeedgiven prior not i cet ot heCount y ’ sLegi sl at i v eAf f ai r sDi r ect oroft hef i r m’ sr el at i onshi pwi t h Maranatha Corrections, although some key County personnel were not aware of this relationship. Further, in my opinion, Mr. Granlund clearly did not involve nor attempt to involve himself in direct negotiations regarding the jail acquisition. Any concerns I may have had relative t oMr .Gr anl und’ si nv ol v ementin this matter have been addressed by the actions the County has already taken. Per my direction, the County has counseled Platinum Advisors, who in turn couns el edMr .Gr anl undast ot heCount y ’ sconcer nsandt heex pect at i onthat no future conduct that could be perceived to be inappropriate will occur. Platinum is now required to keep the CAO completely informed about its clientele and any potential conflicts. Some will question why the County has maintained a relationship wi t hPl at i num i nt hef ac eoft hi sc ont r ov er sy .I nf act ,Pl at i num’ s overall performance has been exemplary. Severing our relationship with the firm over an issue that has been resolved and that did not harm the taxpayers would have left the county underrepresented in Sacramento in terms of advocacy, which certainly could prove to be harmful to the taxpayers. Still, Platinum is currently on retainer under a six-month extension of its previous contract, and a new Request for Proposals is being prepared so that Platinum will once again be subject to a competitive selection process should it desire to continue representing the County of San Bernardino.