SAN BERNARDINO — San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry on Wednesday made his first public statement since accusations of falsifying campaign contributions surfaced, saying he has always attempted to comply with reporting laws.
On Tuesday, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris leveled charges of filing a false report and perjury against the third district official, along with a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a campaign contribution.
In a statement released Wednesday, Derry said, “If I make a mistake I will correct it. I was not informed of this supposed error before I received the complaint, however, and have not been given the opportunity to voluntarily correct any mistake.”
Derry, a former San Bernardino city councilman who was elected supervisor in 2008, said he would not make any other comments until he reviews the facts of the case with his attorney and campaign treasurer.
The state Fair Practices Commission has also been advised of the charges, said a statement from Harris’ office.
The accusations against Derry date back to May 2007. Department of Justice Special Agent Shannon Williams alleges that a $10,000 check from the Inland Empire Political Action Committee was deposited into Derry’s campaign account.
Williams reported that a $5,000 donation from Arnold Stubblefield was deposited into the PAC account in June 2007. Five days later, the $10,000 check was deposited into Derry’s campaign account.
The Inland Empire PAC was chaired by Bill Postmus, the former county assessor who pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts and is cooperating with investigators in other probes. Reports allege that Derry hand-delivered Stubblefield’s check to Postmus. Allegations also contend that Derry never reported Stubblefield’s contribution on required disclosure forms.
Derry also serves on other governing boards — including Omnitrans Transportation and San Bernardino Associated Governments —and organizations that receive federal funds. According to federal regulations, transportation and development money can be withheld from agencies when board members are accused of bribery, money laundering and other corruption charges.
In recent years, the California Fair Political Practices Commission has levied fines on San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Josie Gonzalez and former county Sheriff Gary Penrod for various campaign or financial reporting violations.
On Thursday, no one in Derry’s downtown San Bernardino fifth floor office on North Arrowhead Avenue would answer questions about the charges.