Undersheriff Dicus’s Appointment To Replace McMahon As Sheriff An Inevitability

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is on an irretrievable trajectory to designate Undersheriff Shannon Dicus as Sheriff John McMahon’s successor, according personages within the department and involved in the county’s governmental structure.

McMahon, who has been sheriff since he was appointed to that post in 2012 following the resignation of his predecessor Rod Hoops and then ran successfully for election in 2012 as an unelected incumbent against two challengers and was reelected without opposition in 2018, on June 18 abruptly announced his resignation effective July 16.

The intertwined interests of the county’s top governmental and law enforcement silos, the history of the department, tradition, precedent, the current board of supervisors’ interest in maintaining continuity and preserving the status quo and the dynamic of noninterference between the county’s ruling elite and its policing arm, taken together with Dicus’s declaration that he intends to seek election in 2022, as well as what is essentially or predominantly the outsider status of the field of three alternate candidates who like Dicus have applied to replace McMahon, makes an appointment of anyone other than Dicus inconceivable.

The board of supervisors is scheduled to interview the four candidates on Wednesday, July 7, with the possibility that a vote settling the succession question being taken before that convocation concludes.

Competing with Dicus for the appointment to the sheriff’s position, which carries with it the titles of coroner and public administrator while providing on average yearly salary and other pay of $280,000 and benefits of $248,000 for a total annual compensation of $528,000, are Phillip Dupper, Cliff Harris and William Loenhorst.

Dupper can arguably make a disputed claim to insider or establishment status with the department, as he is has acceded to the rank of lieutenant with the department, after 25 years with the department. After graduating from the academy in 1996, he worked in the jails, thereafter working patrol out of the Fontana Station. He promoted to detective, whereupon he was assigned to the Rancho Cucamonga Station, then subsequently working in the narcotics division. Upon being promoted to sergeant, he returned to the departments jails, then was assigned to Morongo Valley and was then brought back to Rancho Cucamonga. After his promotion to lieutenant, he worked out of the department’s headquarters on Third Street in San Bernardino, where he saw the department’ information technology, central communications and dispatch functions. He has since returned to the department’s corrections division, first at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga and currently at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore.

Dupper is currently Loma Linda’s mayor, and has served on the Loma Linda City Council for 11 years. Previously, he was a board member and eventual vice president of the Safety Employees Benefit Association, the union representing San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.

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