There are still pieces of the puzzle missing and I believe it is planned that way. I would say to the readers something is not right here. On the 14TH the City Council was perfectly happy to keep Berry until they hired a replacement. I don't believe that the "roar of the crowd" swayed them in any way. Over the years the citizens have never had any bearing on the decision process of the Council or staff. Why now? Here is my take on this.
At some point the Berry "window tinting scam and falsification of public documents" came to the attention of Tom Schwab. I would guess from a finance department head. Who else would be looking at the records everyday. It would have to be from a past department head. Since it should be public record any head of the finance department would have access to these records unless they were removed by the Sheriff's Office, Mr. Schwab or Mr. Berry. I would surmise that the outgoing department head would relay this information to the new incoming department head. Removed or not the books have to balance. If they were removed what is the explanation for where that money is.
Schwab has this information. What should he do? Knowing the relationship between Mr. Harper and Mr. Schwab is a vital point here. I would say Mr. Schwab contacted Mr. Harper right away. More than likely Harper advised Schwab to report it to the Sheriff's Office, ask for an investigation and then request, as spokesperson for the victim, the people of the City of Grand Terrace, tell them that no action is required. Evidenced as the last sentence of the last page of the Sheriff's report
Here comes one of the missing puzzle pieces. The one person that has been all too quiet on all of this is City Attorney John Harper. No interviews from the press or comments in public. He has never had a problem making comments before. Mr. Harper, as an Officer of the Court, has a fiduciary responsibility to report a crime he has knowledge of to the D.A. regardless of what Schwab did. He also has the same responsibility to report it to the City Council. Mr. Harper, I don't believe, would not report it to the Council. He had to.
I would suggest to the press that they interview former and present Council Members and find out what they knew and when they knew it. Ask the question outright. "Were you being truthful when you denied any knowledge of the Berry investigation? "Would you ask for a State or Federal investigation? I think we all know the answer to the second question. This is why I have a real problem with those that were on the council at the time and at present stating that they knew nothing about the investigation on Berry. It is impossible for them not to. If Harper did not inform them then he should be fired and charges brought against him with the Ca. Bar and the Attorney General for Conspiracy and Obstruction of Justice.
What it appears is that Berry tried to use what he knows about members of the Council and what has transpired in violation of the law with their full knowledge and consent to retain his job. In exchange the Council offered him criminal prosecution. The meeting of like minds.
For one thing, that is public record, the council at one time received the Public Employees Retirement System, either paid for by the city or partly paid for by the City. This was discontinued for some time. For some reason it was re-instated by Berry and Council members Garcia and Cortes were given a 15 year credit into P.E.R.S. by Berry and paid for by the City. Why and how many thousands of dollars did that take. What was Berry promised for this.
Today in Mrs. Miller's paper there were signed letters of support for Mr. and Mrs. Miller. I agree with all of them. What I do not understand is the front page story by Cindy Rhodes reporting the firing of Steve Berry. Here is the quote "Some believe Berry's exit will put an end to the scrutiny and scandal that has dogged the quaint, quiet town of 12,500 people in the last few months". Who is "some" Please name them. I would garner a bet there are "some" that still don't want any "scrutiny". All the more reason to name the "some" and subject them to "some" "scrutiny".
If you open a can labeled "Worms" don't be shocked when the contents are actually "Worms". They got into that can somehow.