Is Adelanto Councilman’s Arrest Part of a Larger Problem?

The recent arrest of Adelanto City Councilman Jermaine Wright on federal arson and bribery charges would seem like a stunning development in most social and political circles. Sadly, Adelanto is no stranger to this type of corruption.

As the San Bernardino Sun reports, Wright’s misdeeds are just one in a long line of instances of government malfeasance in Adelanto; the continuation of a trend more than three decades old.

“For more than 30 years, the city has been mired in multiple scandals involving elected officials, members of its former police force, and even an animal control supervisor,” the Sun notes. Jack Pitney, a professor of government and politics at Claremont McKenna College, blames a lack of scrutiny on city business driven by Adelanto's remote location, high poverty rate, and lax government oversight.

“Corruption, like fungus, grows in the dark,” explained Pitney. “Lack of attention provides an opportunity for people to make a dishonest buck. It’s easy to overlook the bad things that go on in small towns, and when things are overlooked, bad things can happen.”

Read more about Adelanto’s troubled history here