Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco is prosecuting nine people on various corruption charges, including four of the five member San Jacinto City Council.
The San Jacinto City Councilmembers being prosecuted are Jim Ayres, Dale Stubblefield, John Mansperger and James Potts.
Jim Ayres wife Nancy, who is also a school board member in San Jacinto, was indicted with her husband. Also indicted were businessmen Stephen Holgate, Byron Jerry Ellison, Robert Osborne, and Scott Shaull.
A criminal grand jury handed down the 155 count indictment after a year and a half investigation into corruption allegations. 56 of the charges are felonies. The other 99 are misdemeanors. Convictions could carry prison sentence of 20 years or longer.
Most of the charges stem from Jim Ayres failed State Assembly campaign in 2006. Ayers and the developer Steve Holgate seem to have hatched a scheme that allowed Holgate to circumvent California's campaign finance laws and give more money to Ayres campaign than was legally allowed. Holgate seems to have reimbursed many donors for their contributions to the Ayres campaign.
Robert Osborne is charged with being deep into this scheme as well, but all indications are that Steve Holgate was Jim Ayres' sugar daddy, with Ayres in return being Holgate's political puppet.
The irony dear readers is that despite all of the money Steve Holgate may have been able to illegally funnel to Jim Ayres, Ayres got his butt kicked in that 2006 Republican primary for the 65th Assembly District.
Ayres loss in that election was in part due to his stating he had received a medal during his military service that did not even exist. That should tell us all what kind of a creep we're dealing with here.
District Attorney Rod Pacheco told the press conference yesterday that the investigation in this is on going. Who else is the DA's office looking at? Did Steve Holgate's reach extend outside of the San Jacinto Valley? That definitely merits some looking into.
Now while some might say that these indictments mark a bad day for Riverside County, but we here at Inside Riverside disagree. It is a glorious day!
Riverside County finally has a District Attorney who is not willing to turn a blind eye to public corruption. As Pacheco said at the press conference yesterday, "These illegal activities threaten the integrity of our democracy. These elected officials were entrusted with power and misused that power to advance their own political ambition and to satisfy their greed."
We agree wholeheartedly with District Attorney Pacheco in this matter. Those how violate the public trust must be held accountable for their deeds.
If any of these nine have any self-respect or remorse for their transgressions, they would do wise to admit their crimes. Grand Jury's don't hand down indictments on whims or on the wishes of prosecutors. They do so based on evidence. And for a Grand Jury to indict five elected officials and their benefactors, there must have been clear and convincing evidence that those 155 crimes did occur.
As always, we'll keep you posted as things develop dear readers.