San Bernardino County is a vibrant place, with a mix of cultures, different climates, and a growing population. Unfortunately, it has also been home to some of the worst scandals in the state. Corruption by certain elected officials and high-level staffers has left a black mark on county government and has led to widespread mistrust among the populace.
Colonel Paul Cook, USMC (Ret.) has stood up to corruption in San Bernardino County and will continue to do so as long as he holds public office.
As one of San Bernardino County’s representatives in the State Assembly, Cook authored AB 1906 in 2010. AB 1906 will empower San Bernardino County to impanel an additional grand jury to investigate corruption in local governments, including county government. San Bernardino County grand juries have proven effective in the past by shining the light on wrongdoing. Some efforts have led to criminal convictions. Cook’s bill provides another weapon in the arsenal to fight back against those who seek self interest instead of public interest.
In 2011, Cook authored AB 309 in the State Assembly. AB 309 would remove indicted politicians or politicians charged with crimes from local boards and commissions. By allowing these politicians to remain on boards and commissions, such as transportation commissions, they endanger projects involving federal projects. The federal government provides no leeway for politicians suspected of crimes and will withhold all funding for projects such as highway improvements. Cook succeeded in moving the bill through the Legislature. It now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.
Cook state, “I’m proud of the work I’ve done in helping San Bernardino County fight back against the corruption we’ve seen over the years. But this isn’t over. There is much work to do.”
Cook stated that he is considering legislation in 2012 focusing on greater punishments for staffers of politicians. He is also considering proposing a Reform Commission on the county level.