Newly elected San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia and the new City Council had not even been sworn in yet when the first attempt to undermine him was fired.
IE Business Daily has learned of the conspiracy to leak the investigation to the press, culminating in the hit piece from the Southern California News Group (SCNG), which supported defeated Mayor Carey Davis.
According to highly placed sources in the city government structure the leaked information most likely originated from City Manager Andrea Miller, in coordination with Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, former Police Public Information Officer, former Police Union Preisdent and current Captain Rich Lawhead, and former Police Union President Steve Filson in an effort to malign the new Mayor less than a week before his swearing-in.
The article in the SCNG owned Sun Newspaper headlined “San Bernardino Mayor-Elect met with suspected illegal pot shop operator just before robbery, shooting” appeared December 17th. Apparently, now-Mayor Valdivia met with the accused owner of the building, Hansing “David” Li on November 14th to discuss Li’s many properties, over a month before the news article ran. Li has been charged, but not convicted on charges related to illegal cannabis operations, but also owns numerous buildings in the city. The facility was later robbed that day and a shooting also occurred.
When Valdivia heard of the robbery and shooting, he immediately notified the Police Department that he had in fact been there earlier in the day.
Of course, Police Reports and ongoing investigations are generally kept confidential until the investigation is completed, an arrest is made and charges are filed. But, enemies of the newly elected Mayor, including many City employees loyal to the former regime saw this as an opportunity to slander Valdivia and couldn’t resist releasing the information to Sun reporter Joe Nelson, even though nothing tied Valdivia to anything other than he had been on site earlier.
It’s much like having driven through an intersection hours before an accident occurred and making a case that the Mayor had driven through that intersection hours before; in other words, lunacy.
But some at City Hall obviously saw this as an opportunity to harm Valdivia. Of course the social media gadflies picked up the story in ridiculous fashion, some even accusing the Mayor of taking bribes or arranging the robbery afterwards.
Knowing this would be a controversy if it made the papers and potentially damage Valdivia before he could even take office, it is alleged that Miller, Burguan, Lawhead and Filson concocted the leak of the confidential police investigation, perhaps hoping to keep Valdivia from even taking the oath of office. Unfortunately for them, Valdivia knew he had done nothing wrong and is now Mayor of San Bernardino with a new Council majority inclined towards change and reform.
Whether Mayor Valdivia and the Council are aware of the leak of a confidential police investigation is not known, but the Mayor has been transparent in reporting the incident and stated so to the press.
What is known is that as many as four or more individuals with access to a police investigation released confidential information to a select reporter with the clear intent of nullifying an election, or at least weakening a duly elected official with a smear campaign as to neuter his ability to carry out his official duties.
San Bernardino resident can be thankful that these dirty, underhanded, and potentially illegal tactics failed to obtain the response they were desperate to attain.