San Bernardino, CA
Last Thursday, county officials sought the assistance of California’s 31st Congressional District Representative Pete Aguilar to reallocate more than one million dollars of a four million federal anti-terrorism grant.
The money is currently earmarked to pay or reimburse the county for costs incurred because of the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center. Local officials believe the money should instead be used to cover the costs of medical treatment not covered by worker’s compensation for the survivors of the attack.
On January 17, the county learned from the California Victim Compensation Board that a portion of the grant could be used to reimburse injured survivors of the December 2nd attack for medical treatments awaiting approval through worker’s compensation. According to San Bernardino County Spokesperson David Wert, if the reallocation is approved as requested, it will nearly double the $1.6 million already set aside in the grant for survivors.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood spoke about the reallocation request. “The county has so far spent more than $20 million responding to and recovering from this tragedy never expecting to be reimbursed beyond first responder costs,” he said and continued. “The County appreciates the efforts of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Victim Services and the California Victim Compensation Board to secure this grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, but we would rather see this money set aside to directly assist the survivors in their recovery.”
According to Wert, there are nearly 54 county employees with active worker’s compensation cases stemming from the attack. A few of them have voiced concerns about challenges they continue to have with their claims. “It is the county’s hope that reallocation of these funds will make additional resources available from the grant to pay for treatments that are awaiting approval.”
When county employee Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik attacked his co-workers during a combined training session/holiday party on December 2, 2015, they left 14 people dead and twenty-two others seriously injured.