Investigation Finds San Bernardino Mayor Misused Public Funds

San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia is facing likely censure after an investigation concluded he improperly billed the city for several trips along with invitations to a private event.

The investigation was commissioned by the city council and conducted by law firm Garcia Rainey Blank & Bowerbank. Their report found Valdivia commingled campaign fundraising and city business by requesting reimbursements for political events. He also billed the city $2,500 for a “Mayor’s VIP Reception” which few city staff were invited to. The event was used to promote himself personally, according to the investigation. He also failed to report a $5,000 payment from the Inland Empire Health Plan to the city intended to offset costs. The report said that constituted a violation of Fair Political Practices Commission guidelines.

Valdivia and the city council have clashed previously. In addition to possible censure, which could come Dec. 1, the council has authorized the city attorney to investigate the mayor’s actions.

Read more about the recent report at the Los Angeles Times.