Another Shoe Drops For San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia

Many of the allegations that Mayor John Valdivia made to staff in his office were substantiated in a recent investigation. Articles written by the San Bernardino Sun downplayed the bombshell report but many out in the public are wondering why he has not stepped down as San Bernardino Mayor!

San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia made unsolicited and graphic sexual comments to a former city employee last year and repeatedly berated subordinates in private and public settings, an independent investigator has found.

The city’s top elected official also told a former employee in January that he is “always receiving gifts and not reporting them,” according to Los Angeles attorney Carla Barboza, with whom the city contracted in February to investigate sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims against Valdivia.

Released Tuesday, Sept. 8, executive summaries of the months-long probe substantiate certain allegations brought forward by former city employees Mirna Cisneros, Karen Cervantes and Jackie Aboud.

Seventeen witnesses were interviewed, however, and documents were reviewed as Barboza set out to determine whether it was more likely than not that the allegations were true.

As such, she found Valdivia repeatedly subjected Cisneros, in particular, to lewd and suggestive sexual comments in person and through text messages.

The investigation, which cost San Bernardino $68,000, confirmed Cisneros’ claim that in December, Valdivia bragged about being offered a private jet and how he would “work something out where he does not have to claim it on his forms,” referring to documents elected officials must file when they receive gifts.

A witness confirmed Valdivia went on to tell Cisneros: “There is always a way to get around everything.”

Through interviews, Barboza corroborated Cisneros’ claim that in January Valdivia told her and other staffers not to eat at a dinner recognizing San Bernardino commissioners. The investigation also confirmed that the mayor told Cisneros and others present that the dinner was all about “the John Valdivia show.”

A witness backed Cisneros’ claim that earlier this year Valdivia asked her to be vague when processing a reimbursement to the San Bernardino International Airport for a meeting. He also requested Cisneros not “name names” of whom he met with.

Valdivia told Cisneros a day later that he “always” receives gifts and fails to report them, according to Barboza.

For a copy of the report click here

Read the full story here

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Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson Fails To Get SB County Democrat Endorsement

So if 2020 can’t get any crazier hold on to your seats because this is a big election year. Mayor Robertson has been Mayor since 2012 and received the local Democrat nomination in both 2012 and 2016. This year is different because according to sources inside the local party she has been given a vote of no confidence leaving her to fend off two strong challengers in this years election.

Mayor Robertson is up against Former Councilman Ed Palmer and Local public advocate Lupe Camacho. In 2016 Mayor Robertson only had to fend off one challenger and that race was overshadowed by the death of Councilman Shawn O’Connell. This year the Mayor has to fend off Councilman Ed Palmer and new to the Rialto stage Lupe Camacho. Lupe Camacho isn’t some know nothing candidate she has spent the last 2-3 years holding Rialto officials and staff feet to the fire when it came to public works projects and new development. Lupe a knowledgeable former public works employee from Chino has never back down from a fight and knows how things are supposed to be done and where the money is normally hidden.

The SBC Sentinel wrote that Mayor Robertson failed to get the nomination by the County Democrat Committee because:

Robertson faces allegations backed by an investigation for conflict of interest involving a city contract awarded to a nonprofit organization headed by her daughter. She has been dogged as well as a consequence of her support of embattled West Valley Water District Board Member Channing Hawkins.

It is cute that other publications are finally covering SOME of the mayors major public flaws but we have been here telling our readers the same thing and many called us crazy. Well let’s look back at the Mayors history of abusing her power and misusing public funds:

Not getting your parties nomination after getting it regularly is a big problem for the Mayor. The choice is yours who are you voting for in November?

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Malware Rocks Rialto Unified School Districts Online Learning

It all began on Friday August 21st when Rialto Unified sent out a message via social media that online technology was experiencing issues.

The District is experiencing a system outage due to an outside source, beyond our internal control. Our Education Technology Department is currently investigating the issues and working on a resolution.

Meanwhile, Google Classroom is still available, except for those teachers who are working from RUSD school site classrooms. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will update you as soon as possible. Again, thank you.

Later this past weekend the situation worsened to Malware that had completely effected the entire online learning platform including the remind software that Rialto Unified uses to communicate with parents. Many parents in the comments on Facebook already struggling with the new online learning atmosphere that Covid-19 has brought to us expressed anger or concern over what they said was a lack of communication. Parents felt they were left in the dark when it came to how they would receive updates on the situation and if they should delete the remind app from their phones for fear of cross contamination.

Rumors have been circulating that this is Ransom Ware. We spoke to district officials that said the issue appears to be Malware and not Ransom Ware as rumored. Rialto Unified School District has technology and risk management officials are working on a fix to this situation.

There is no time table for when school activities will resume. This has parents concerned because distance learning seems to be this situation where we are learning how to teach our kids. It seems like the distance learning plan was being developed as it went along and now this unknown has sent in into the ground.

Marie Gaitan said on Facebook, I’m really thinking of holding my kid back a year. She’s in high school there is no room for trial and error. How are they even learning what They are supposed to be learning and things just keep getting worse. Many parents have the same worry. Some teachers are stepping up to answer questions like the one below.

Parent Maggie Martin – So why am I getting assignments from my kids teachers?

Teacher Nichole Phelps – If you are receiving them through Google Classroom then the reason might be because in Google Classroom you can schedule an assignment to be posted at a later date so students have access to it. We (teachers) were told not to access anything except for gmail so your child’s teacher may have scheduled those assignments before school was suspended and then was unable to go in and disable them.

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Ex-Rialto police officer sentenced to 2 years in prison for having unregistered firearms, silencers

A Corona lawyer and former Rialto police officer was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison after unregistered weapons and bomb-making materials were found in his possession.

Sergio Lopez de Tirado, 44, was sentenced for possessing unregistered firearms, silencers and a hand grenade that were found inside his truck during a law enforcement stop, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

He plead guilty in April 2019 to one count of possession of unregistered firearms and a destructive device.

Law enforcement officials found Lopez de Tirado asleep and apparently intoxicated in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was parked with its door open, blocking a Norco driveway, on Dec. 21, 2018.

Read More

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Lori Daybell Mother of Missing Children Has Roots in Rialto

Lori Daybell the mother who is accused of refusing to inform Idaho authorities on the location of her adoped son JJ and daughter Tylee has roots here in the city of Rialto. Lori Daybell (maiden name Cox) grew up in Rialto and graduated from Eisenhower High School. One of Lori Daybells old high school freinds and fellow cheer team member says that the Lori she new and the Lori now are two totally different people.

Lori was known as the fun loving blonde bombshell that loved to have fun with her friends, got good grades and was the FLYER on the cheer team (the person that the team would throw up in the air). According to friends on the cheer team Lori was a fun loving person that just wanted to hang out with her friends and wasn’t very interested in boys until her Senior year. Lori came from a very large Mormon family and her family never came to her cheer events which friends say didn’t bother her much at all. Lori’s path was directed by her faith and her plans were to go to BYU and to do mission work for the Later Day Saints church after high school common to most Mormon kids.

It was after high school that something went terribly wrong in Lori’s life. She married a non Mormon man right after high school and that was a marriage that didn’t last long and that husband is all but a secret as even larger news organizations have not been able to identify that man. What is known is that Lori’s wild behavior is that multiple marriages, lies, death and now the disappearance of her two youngest children now lay in her wake. A reporter spoke to Lori’s first son Colby about his mother Lori, missing siblings and his dead step father and uncle.

Colby told the reporter that his mother just showed up one day at his place of work with his two step siblings and said I found a new job we are moving, little did Colby know that would be the last time he would see his siblings before they went missing. Colby said that he learned about his moms new marriage, place of residence and disappearance of his siblings through the media.

Lori isn’t the only one in Cox family to go off the deep end in this story or in life in general. Lori’s brother Alex Cox tazzed Lori’s Texas husband and threatened to kill him and shot and killed Lori’s husband in Arizona. Alex Cox passed away a few months after killing Charles Vallow in 2019. Lori Daybell is being investigated for a string of deaths that lay in her wake as well as the disappearance of her two younger kids. Lori had a court date in Idaho where her bail was reduced from 5 million to just 1 million. Recent reports show that Lori only needs $150 thousand at most to bail out. She will need to wear an ankle monitor and remain in the Rexburg Idaho area.

Lori’s children, Tylee and JJ, have been missing for more than five months. JJ was last seen on Sept. 23 in Rexburg and Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park. The FBI is asking anyone with photos of that day to turn them over to FBI officials so they can try and track where the family may have been seen in the park.

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After the election turmoil remains high for West Valley Water

After the dust settled after the most recent West Valley Water Board elections the turmoil has yet to settle. Many were surprised to see the current board that was left virtually in tact except for the election of new comer Channing Hawkins and that this board relinquished the seat of President to the newly elected Board Member Hawkins. So have said that this seems to be a trap to set Board Member Hawkins up to fail. We have reached out multiple times to speak with Board President Hawkins about this but have failed to speak to him.

West Valley Water District board member Channing Hawkins reaches after being voted in as President of the West Valley Water District, during a board meeting in Rialto, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo by John Valenzuela, Contributing Photographer)

Whatever the case Board Member Hawkins is the dully chosen Board President and seems to be on a course to make changes within the structure of the Water District. The most notable change is the live streaming of board meetings via Facebook Live and then posting a video recording to the Water Districts newly created YouTube channel. The recent implementation of these two sources have removed a large barrier between the Water Board and the Rate Payers as many people work long hours and have family obligations that make it difficult to show up to regular meetings let alone all the special meeting West Valley has had lately. Now rate payers can remain informed on what is going on without having to disrupt their already busy lives.

About the time that Board President Hawkins took the position of Board President many of the Water District Managers took that opportunity to deliver a letter of no confidence in West Valley Water GM Clarence Mansfield. The letter from the West Valley Managers demanded that he be fired because of poor leadership and alleged cronyism. This letter was put out suspiciously close to a SCNG investigation into a laundry list of problems since Mansfield was hired, they also pointed out his salary of $225k dollars as well.

As someone that has been covering this Water District long before the Southern California News Group. There have been problems for 6 to 8 years with West Valley Water Board where former Board President but still a current Board Member has been running the Water District into the ground and has been using questionable hiring practices since he sat on the Water Board. Another thing is I know Mr Mansfield and I haven’t spoken to him recently I can tell you he has learned the hard way to try and get his job done without running directly afoul of the elected people over him. He was railroaded at LA DWP years ago when questioned certain internal practices, then was made the scapegoat for the laundry list of failures in the sale of the City of Rialto’s Water and Waste Water to Veollia where he was the first GM to tackle that project. Now he is the GM for a Water District that was upside down in questionable behavior for years before he got there.

Board President Hawkins seems genuine in his interest to be transparent holding Facebook Lives to go over the agenda with constituents prior to meetings and there doesn’t appear to be any visible bias in the decisions he has led the district to make. Quite the opposite the oldest and most long standing Board Members have openly attacked Board President Hawkins for some of the preliminary moves he has taken.

Only time will tell what these changes will bring about and what if anything will change with the General Manager job for this struggling water agency.

Click here to read about Martin Piñon as Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager

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West Valley Water District Looks To Yet Another Consultant To Solve Internal Problems

On February 4th 2020 West Valley Water put out a press release on the hiring of yet another upper level manager and consultant to fix the laundry list of problems West Valley Water District has faced. The newest person that has claimed they will do what nobody else has been able to do is Martin Piñon who will be acting as the Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager. According to the press release, In addition to implementing best practices and standards for human resources, Piñon will manage the District’s personnel activities including salary and benefits administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, safety, training, employee relations, recruitment and selection. Pinion will also ensure that the District is in compliance with employment laws and work with management to correct employee deficiencies, apply disciplinary actions, address grievances and follow-up with complaints and inquiries.

Among his long list of experience and education the notable piece is that he has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Bernardino. Now your asking yourself why is that the portion of Mr. Piñon you focus on? Well for years Board Member Clifford Young a fixture at Cal State San Bernardino appeared to be using his influence over the hiring process to gift high level positions to people he favored from said college.

Piñon said about his appointment “It’s not rocket science,” said Piñon. “We’re going to turn it all around.”

Board President Hawkins said that Piñon’s hiring was directly tied to his appointment as board president and the district’s “renewed, collective commitment to ratepayers.

All matters regarding employment have been taken off GM Clarence Mansfield’s plate and the recommendations from Piñon will fall to the 2 member committie of President Hawkins and Vice President Crowther. The hiring of additional staff isn’t over as Mr. Piñon has already stated that Legal Counsel and an additional HR firm will need to be hired to fix what is broken. Another very expense and time consuming item on Mr. Piñon’s agenda is a comp and class study to look at pay and wages.

Now we don’t know Mr Piñon and we hope he can accomplish everything he said he can, but knowing the track record of West Valley water over the last 8-10 years this just looks like more of the same and more wasted money being spent!

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Former Rialto Police Dispatcher Dies of Brain Cancer

Early on December 29th Barbara Conlee Anderson died from her battle with Brain Cancer. She had been battling Brain Cancer since May.

Barbara was the wife of former Police K9 handler Glen Anderson and was one of many husband and wife duos that worked in Law Enforcement together. Many Rialto & Fontana residents didn’t know the name of that steady voice on the other line of their call with Police Dispatch. Those of us who knew this strong yet sweet woman knew her voice the minute she jumped on the line.

More than just a dedicated public safety worker she was also a mother to two beautiful & driven young ladies. She and her husband Glen worked with other law enforcement couples to help them maneuver through life in the law enforcement field. Barbara a strong Christian woman always went back to her faith when life got tough yet protected her family like a mother bear defending her cubs.

Former officer and friend Mark Render posted this about Barbara’s passing:

“Please read. I don’t post much and never ask for anything. This is one of my best friends and an amazing family. She fought an amazing fight to cancer.
I ask everyone to please not only give even if it’s a little but to also share to everyone you know.
This is a hard working family that has given so much to others that needs our help now. He is too proud to ask so I will do it for him.
I love you Barbara Conlee Anderson. The world will miss you. Rest easy.”

Personally Barbara and her family were there for me through times where the city attacked me and when I was diagnosed with cancer she and Glen were there for me and my family when I was fighting Cancer too. This amazing family lost an amazing lady and our hearts and prayers go out her Glen and their girls.

Her daughters have started a Go Fund Me account to help out with funeral expenses if you are interested in giving to that effort you can click here.

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Former West Valley Board President Betty Gosney Runs To Take Back Her Seat

Well Rialto it is that time again time to VOTE! Now we all thought we had a break from this since everyone keeps talking about 2020 and the big presidential race. Sorry some agencies out there still run their elections on off years.

Today we come to you with one of our Q&A segments on someone looking for your vote. This election is for West Valley Water District and its boundaries are all over the place landing in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. There are two other seats up for election on November 5th with regards to West Valley Water. The 1st seat that is currently held by Director Kyle Crowther who is the Vice President on the board is up against two seasoned challengers. Former Board President Betty Gosney and Former Director Linda Gonzalez are running against Mr. Crowther.

This Q&A is simply a way for you to learn something you may not know about candidates seeking your vote. No matter who you choose please get out and cast your vote.

  1. Why do you feel qualified to sit on the West Valley Water Board?

I was a board member with West Valley water District for 13 years president of the board for two years I left there at the end of my term for health reason

  1. Are you aware of the boards changes to the open meeting laws over the last few years? How do you feel about those changes?

I am aware of most of the changes made by the board.  I don’t feel that they were in the interest of the District but the interest of the board at the time I don’t feel it was a good decision.

  1. What is your purpose for running for West Valley Water Board?

I would like to get back on this board.  A board that is a fair Board that does it’s job as it should be done not to micromanage.Not for self service.

  1. What is your political party affiliation?

This is a nonpartisan election. Political affiliation has no business as a board member for West Valley water District a board member should be open minded and fair to all.

  1. Have you taken any monetary or non-monetary support from large interest groups like unions or environmental groups? If not have you seeked out money or support and been denied?

I have never been denied money or support I’ve never ask I’ve never taken any monetary or non-monetary support from any group or any person nor any union or environmental groups I’ve never seeked  out money or support I have always been honest and work the best I could for what I thought was right in all things that I do.

  1. Are you being funded or supported by any current West Valley Water Board Members?

No I am not being funded by any current or past west valley water board member.

  1. What is your take on the corruption rumors floating around for the last 8 years?

I am only aware of corruption and or rumors in the past four years.

  1. Can you promise no new rate increases?

No I cannot promise no new rate increases, as rates were increased in 2013 due to a large increase in electric, gas,  which is needed to deliver water to our rate payers. Because of the raised  infrastructure all cost for the water  District had been raised we had no choice but to keep up with our expenses and as always cost to go up as does income.

  1. Do you support working to create a live broadcast of Board meetings and using a system to archive recorded meetings? Why?

Not sure about live Broadcast however not against it And yes meetings need to be recorded and saved. I do wish some of my past meetings were recorded.

  1. Do you support creating rules that bar board members from using West Valley staff and Water District marking materials in future election advertising?

No board member should ever use the staff district materials for any future elections or for any personal use.

  1. Any words you would like the Rialto Now readers to know about you?

 I feel I am an honest and fair person I’ve lived 74 years raised six boys have eight grand kids and 9 great grand kids they are my life.  I have spent several of my years working towards the betterment of my Surrounding areas. I have been on the Bloomington MAC for 20 some years still working towards the betterment of the county areas.

I encourage any ratepayer to email me at Gosneyb@gmail.com

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Rialto Officers Widow Say Lip Service Isn’t Going To Pay The Bills

The widow of fallen officer Sergio Carrera appears to be having issues getting paid from her husbands death back in 2007. Louise reached out to our staff with angst and frustration over her workman’s comp payments being short, wrong or lost in the mail altogether. Louise says that this has been an ongoing issue for years.

Our city council and city leadership are quick to jump on their soap box and tout that they care about and want to make sure that the families of our fallen officers are taken care of. Sadly this is just lip service it appears because time and time again we hear stories that those families feel tossed aside and not cared for.

In the case of Louise Carrera and her two kids these wrong checks and missing checks are more devastating than most would think. Could you imagine having to borrow money to pay for utilities or being late on your house payment just because the city can’t seem to get your money to you? Rialto touts how 21st Century the city has become yet instead of allowing people like Louise Carrera to have their money put into their bank account via direct deposit, that option isn’t available leaving more opportunities for errors.

Louise said that she has grown tired of the firm the city has hired to process her payments. “Both the city and LWP seem to care less what happens to me and my kids and it is sad” Louise Carrera.

So it seems that the next time a council member or a ranking member of the city leadership claims to care about our staff and their families we can point back to this situation and say, What about Louise Carrera?

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