Supervisor Paul Biane

Campaign finance records obtained from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters reveal a county supervisor retained a criminal defense attorney last year.

Apparently, Second District Supervisor Paul Biane was concerned enough over an investigation by District Attorney Mike Ramos that he retained legal counsel. Records show Biane paid $49,782.53 from his campaign funds to the Los Angeles-based law firm of Corbin, Fitzgerald and Athey LLP for legal services.

The funds were disbursed to the law firm during the reporting period July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

The law firm website describes the firm as a premier boutique litigation firm in Los Angeles, emphasizing white collar criminal defense and business litigation.

One specialty of the attorney firm is election fraud and political corruption.

Recent public disclosures revealed Ramos was investigating Biane for failing to disclose travel with area businessmen to Morgantown, West Virginia on his Statement of Economic Interest form.

The trip occurred in September 2008, but not disclosed until March 2009. No attempt by Biane to reimburse expenses related to the trip was accomplished until March 2009.

Ramos has since referred the Biane matter to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.