|For Immediate Release||Contact: Bonnie Garcia|
|April 30, 2014||Phone: (760) 654-2014|
Riverside County Jury Exposes Supervisor Jeff Stone’s Slush Fund Scheme
Taxpayer money used in violation of state law
Palm Desert – Jeff Stone, a career politician with a long list of convictions for breaking state laws has a lot to explain to voters.
Senate Candidate and Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Jeff Stone is having a bad week to say the least. The Grand Jury just released a scathing report that uncovers how more than $32 million in taxxpayer resources were gifted under Stone’s watch to questionable organizations with virtually no oversight. Worse yet, it appears their use of taxpayer dollars conflicts with state laws intended to deny politicians any advantage in political campaigns.
Shockingly, the Grand Jury report itself quotes one of the Supervisors describing the “cash-for votes” program as “a slush fund”. The headline in the Riverside Press Enterprise was: “Riverside County: Grand jury says taxpayer funds used to promote incumbents”. The Desert Sun followed with “Riverside Grand Jury urges spending oversight.”
“Supervisor Jeff Stone has fought every effort to end the slush fund practice in Riverside County, and during his 10 years on the board, he is responsible for trading approximately $4 million in a “cash-for-votes” scheme,” said Bonnie Garcia. “There is no doubt many of the organizations are well-intentioned, however Riverside County residents have much bigger challenges that $32 million could help solve.”
The report found “numerous examples where supervisors used public resources to enhance their visibility and name identification with potential voters.” In addition, negligent oversight allowed tax dollars to be doled out to several groups that had not registered with, or had been suspended by the State Attorney General’s office, making it illegal for them to accept such funds.
It is apparent that Chairman of the Board, Jeff Stone has been busy promoting his perpetual quest for higher office with tax dollars instead of doing his job and solving problems for Riverside County. Taxpayers deserve to know why Stone gifted a private artists’ retreat more than $100,000, while directing hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends with pet projects, as deputy sheriffs were being laid off, violent criminals were being released, anti-gang units were being cut, county services were being reduced and hard working residents were losing their jobs.
The recommendations from the Grand Jury also included a full disclosure requirement when family members are involved with political campaigns. This is a caution that Supervisor Stone has been warned about in the past. After his last failed campaign, it was revealed that Stone loaned his sister a taxpayer-funded car, appointed her to several county boards, and steered donations to groups in which she was associated. For her efforts, she was awarded more than $300,000 from campaign donations that Stone wrangled from local developers and businesses that had previously put projects before his board.
Garcia has made it clear that the last thing we need in the State Senate is a dishonest politician like Jeff Stone.
She said, “Jeff Stone has been picking the pockets of taxpayers for years and past behavior always dictates future actions. We don’t need another shake down artist in the Senate at a time when the institution is already under enormous scrutiny with three Democratic Senators suspended from the body. Voters know ethics and integrity matter and Jeff Stone has shown he lacks both”.