SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY PAST GRAND JURORS' ASSOCIATION

 

Minutes

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY PAST GRAND JURORS ASSOCIATION

Minutes of the General Meeting - October 22, 2018 - 11:30AM

CALL TO ORDER - President Susan Brewster

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE - President Susan Brewster
BENEDICTION - Ellen Miller
LUNCH/DESSERT

BUSINESS

SPEAKER: Rosie Hinojos, Foreman of the 2017-2018 Grand Jury spoke to the membership about the Final Report.  He reported the jurors had received nineteen (19) complaints, fifteen (15) were rejected for various reasons.  Three (3) had been referred from the 2016-2017 Grand Jury and one (1) was referred to the 2018-2019 Grand Jury.  The investigation of one of the complaints is included in the Final Report.

Code Enforcement: Enforcement of the San Bernardino Municipal Code was previously conducted by both the Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department and the Community Policing Program within the City Police Department.  Through a citizen complaint, the Grand Jury was asked to investigate the responsiveness of the city.  The investigation revealed the City had a backlog of 5,000 complaints to which there had been no response.  In January of 2018, the two groups were merged and now Code Enforcement is entirely in the City Police Department.

Inmate Welfare Fraud: This fund is to be used solely for the benefit, education, and welfare of the county jail inmates.  It has a balance of over $13,000,000.  There is an inmate Welfare Trust Fund Committee consisting of six (6) civilians appointed by the Sheriff.  They consider funding requests, which are usually approved.  The Grand Jury investigation revealed that committee guidelines need to be updated, there is no master plan for spending or guidance as to how requests are evaluated, no inventory or asset records are available, and no program to assess the effectiveness of the inmate education, training and counseling needs.

Note: The response from the Sheriff on all findings and Recommendations was AGREE!

Education and Outreach: The 2017-2018 Grand Jury produced a Power Point presentation to educate the public on its responsibilities and duties concerning local and county government.  The presentation includes an overview of the responsibilities of the Civil Grand Jury, how to file a citizen's complaint, and how to apply for the Civil Grand Jury.  This Power Point production was presented to the PGJA at our June meeting.

RESPONSE ACCOUNTABILITY

Apple Valley Unified School District Police Department: This Response Accountability report refers to the 2016-2017 Final Report regarding the towing of vehicles around the Apple Valley Unified Schools by the school police, and the limited authority it had to do so.  During the 2016-2017 Grand Jury investigation the school police towed 727 vehicles using one (1) tow company.  The tow company provided the jurors a list with only 217 vehicles listed.  This made a discrepancy of 510 vehicles.  The response to the final report stated the jury's findings to be a "sweeping, inaccurate conclusion."  Based upon the 2017-2018 investigational testimony by the tow company, the corrected list (151 vehicles) never got to the 2016-2017 Grand Jury.  However, the 2017-2018 Grand Jury was unable to confirm the Apple Valley Unified School's assertion the 2016-2017 Grand Jury's Final Report contained inaccurate conclusions.

Note: The fact that 151 vehicles were towed during the period of September 2016 and November of 2016, for the similar period in 2017 only 29 vehicles were towed.

Victor Valley Union High School Tracking of Equipment and Capital Assets: This Response Accountability report refers to the 2013-2014 investigation into the Victor Valley Union High School District in the areas of equipment inventory, tracking of capital assets, and delays in the actual opening of the new Adelanto High School.  The response to the final report was due at the end of September 2014.  Since the district did not voluntarily comply, the 2017-2018 Grand Jury sent letters to the district and phone calls were made.  Responses were finally sent in February of 2018.  There were 11 recommendation which included tracking of assets, guidelines for all inventories, tagging assets, use of barcode readers, and purchasing procedures.  The response states all findings and recommendations were carefully reviewed and many have been implemented. 

The next PGJA Luncheon will be January 21, 2019.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Brewster, President and Acting Secretary


ARCHIVE

Minutes of June 4, 2018 (PDF)