This has left citizens wondering what is to come on November 5th when they will elect some new leaders for the embattled city.
Kelley was charged with felony perjury and took a plea deal that forced him to immediately resign from his council seat, drop his mayoral campaign, and agree to never run for public office again. He admitted to using $74,000 of campaign contributions for personal expenses. It was known in public that Kelley did not have a job for a long time and then when his boss, Neil Derry lost his county supervisor position, Kelley joined the unemployment ranks again.
Kelley agreed at the FBI’s request to wear a wire and record conversations with other elected officials and staff at city hall so more folks might be shaking in their boots right now. He was required to talk with the FBI before every council meeting since June so they have a lot of conversations to listen to. Kelley has also filed new campaign finance forms to amend those false statements previously submitted. This might give him problems with the IRS and state for unpaid taxes.
Another San Bernardino Council member Robert Jenkins was arrested on 18 felony charges and 12 misdemeanors involving internet stalking, bullying against a former male friend. Not related to the federal charges, Jenkins, a public school teacher, in Riverside is on non-paid leave from his teaching job because his teaching credential has lapsed.
His attorney Virginia Blumenthal said to the press that Jenkins is not guilty, but that will be decided in court. No reason has been given by Jenkins or Blumenthal as to why he allowed his teaching credential to expire.
Because of these two arrests and one admitting guilt to the charges, citizens need to make sure campaign reform is on the agenda after the election. We also need to make sure our council candidates can afford to take the job and not use their campaign funds to fund their personal expenses.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse in our city, something like this happens. With Kelley wearing a wire and recording conversations more news might be coming that will cause us to reel and rock some more.
Dr. Gary Thomas Retires
Last week San Bernardino County Superintendent Gary Thomas announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014 for personal reasons, family and health. This I am sure will set off jockeying by some to seek this vacated position to lead the county on educational issues.
I want to commend Dr. Thomas for his years of service to the children of the county and the employees his office employed. He has served with distinction and provided leadership for others to follow. This is a big county and requires a person with a lot of energy and dedication to people.
His early announcement gives us time to look at people who might make a good replacement. Happy retirement Dr. Gary Thomas.