Judge Sides With Ramos In Dispute Over Derry’s “Businessman” Ballot Description

Supervisor Neil Derry will not be allowed to identify himself as a businessman on the ballot for the June election, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Brian McCarville ruled on March 27.
In the increasingly bitter race between Derry, the incumbent Third District supervisor, and James Ramos, the outgoing chairman of the San Manuel Tribe of Mission Indians, Ramos funded the filing of a writ of mandate by Patricia Amicone alleging Derry’s proposed reference to himself as supervisor/businessman on the ballot as well as all of the materials, including the sample ballots and candidate statements, to be mailed to voters in the run-up to the election was inaccurate. Amicone has described herself as a friend and political supporter to Ramos.
Ramos covered the $8,500 fee the Sacramento law firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk charged to file the writ on Amicone’s behalf in San Bernardino Superior Court on March 16 and another $1,900 for a lawyer to reiterate in court the points made in the writ.
In responding court papers, Derry maintained that the businessman description was indeed accurate because he was renting out a residential property he and his wife own, netting $26,000 per year, and was doing all of the work that entailed, including managing and maintaining the property.
McCarville, however, ruled that Derry’s primary and principal occupation is county supervisor, for which he receives $263,000 in combined salary and benefits per year. As such, McCarville found, Derry cannot identify himself as a businessman for the purposes of election materials to be provided by the registrar of voters to the public. The judge ordered registrar of voters Michael Scarpello to amend the ballot designation for Derry from “supervisor/businessman” to “county supervisor,” finding that the latter is his principal occupation.

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