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After a heavily armed San Bernardino County employee and his wife attacked a county holiday event last Dec. 2, killing 14 people and wounding 22, county leaders sounded a clear message of support for their workers.

“The events of that day could have torn us asunder. They have not. They have drawn us closer together and rebounded our commitment to take care of one another,” Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos said at a memorial in January.

But a year later, some county employees who were victims of the attack, including witnesses and those who were physically injured, say such pledges ring hollow.

In interviews and at a recent public meeting, employees described struggling to cope with a callous county bureaucracy that provided little comfort as they tried to heal. Instead, they were left scrambling for help and tangling with a county-administered workers’ compensation program that has led to delays and denials of needed medication and treatment, the employees said.

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