Corruption takes on many forms, but most of the time, involves both the public and private sectors participating in unfair business practices and tainted endeavors, to include activities such as: public official’s conflict-of-interest through financial enrichment, bias and/or improper influence; and, political favoritism in the contracting of public services, especially involving the selection and administration of consultants, contractors and vendors and the associated negative impacts on the public employees collective bargaining process. Another name for corruption is fraud, and when it involves the instigation and abuse of authority by a number of public and/or private corporate officers, such as with voter, assessment and taxation fraud, such misdeeds are perceived by the taxpaying public to be violations of local, state and federal laws pertaining to conspiracy and racketeering, however most instances of this type of illegal activity are allowed to continue unabated.
ACT members represent a diverse cross-section of professional-level career experiences involving both public and private sector workers and managers. Additionally, being a non-profit educational corporation, ACT is non-partisan in our activities and therefore apolitical when it comes to conducting our affairs involving the research, reporting and exposing the evidence of misconduct to the appropriate authorities and media outlets. ACT’s vision is to aspire to be an independent private resource for the local and state government entities representing the general public; to assist with and provide public input and oversight functions, and to be a critical component in the process needed to bring about public sector ethics reform so that people can begin to regain trust in our governmental system.
ACT serves as a taxpayer advocate and watchdog for individual citizens, small business people and public employees alike, when they are no longer being represented by their union shops. Our members have observed the full gamut of local government abuses, to include: retaliation for whistle blowing, legal services fraud, breaches of the Brown Act open government law and the Public Records Act/ Freedom of Information Act, redevelopment/developer and real estate fraud, public safety/ disaster preparedness fraud and a pattern of failure by local entities to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidelines and procedures involving land use and transportation decisions. Our members have experience in filing and pursuing complaint cases and associated grievance letters to the Grand Jury, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the State Attorney General’s office, CA Department of Consumer Affairs, Governor Schwarzenegger’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
ACT’s short term goals are to assist in seeing that implementation of the recently approved bill calling for a second Grand Jury in San Bernardino County come to fruition, where the presiding judge and district attorney’s office have requested public input prior to its authorization; and, also to aid San Bernardino County government in the creation of a “sunshine ordinance” and an ethics commission. ACT members are active in a number of our local government communities, providing written and public comments to the appropriate legislative, regulatory and enforcement bodies, while pursuing research and requesting various public records of interest. Soon, we intend to begin sponsoring public forums and public/ private speaker engagements related to on-going matters of the public interest. ACT also hopes to offer an on-line Citizen’s Anti Corruption Connection ‘hotline’, as well as additional public outreach and information resources at ACTSBC.com “ACT! San Bernardino County”