Dennis Draeger is used to navigating political scandal and upheaval. The 34-year San Bernardino county employee has had a front row seat since former Assessor Bill Postmus resigned from the elective position in February amid allegations of drug abuse and corruption.
“I look forward to the challenge. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Draeger told members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors during his swearing in ceremony Tuesday.
He is to complete Postmus’ term which ends in December 2010. He says he plans to run in the June primary election.
“I’m supportive of Dennis Draeger for the position. I think he’s the right man for the job,” said Supervisor Gary Ovitt.
Coming to the job in the face of a county-commissioned investigation into Postmus’ office, Draeger faces what some describe as a public relations nightmare, budget cuts, low employee moral and layoffs.
Just months ago, former federal prosecutor John C. Hueston issued a scathing report on the office alleging wide spread corruption, and abuse of power by Postmus and several former employees. Draeger began his career at the Assessor’s Office in 1975. He left in 1998 to work in the Treasurer/Tax Collector’s Office as assistant tax collector.
He returned to the Assessor’s Office in 2008 as assistant assessor succeeding Harlow Cameron, who retired.