Archive for March 25th, 2010

InlandPolitics: The Colonies Partners settlement: The Answers – Part 7

This article is the seventh in a series of in-depth stories related to the controversy surrounding the settlement of Quiet-Title litigation between the County of San Bernardino Flood Control District, County of San Bernardino, and Colonies Partners, L.P.

In this story, we will further simplify the settlement agreement covered in part six and also attempt to provide some little known issues related to the settlement.

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Meg Whitman

California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting
Money and Politics

March 24, 2010 | Lance Williams

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has built a 50-point lead over rival Steve Poizner in the Republican governor’s race and has edged past Democrat Jerry Brown as well, says a Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday.

The survey of about 2,000 likely voters also shows that public disaffection with California’s political leadership has hit a new low.

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RivPE: Supervisors recuse themselves from Colonies talks

11:32 PM PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

By IMRAN GHORI
The Press-Enterprise

Two San Bernardino County supervisors who have been linked to a corruption investigation into the 2006 Colonies Partners settlement announced Wednesday that they would not take part in discussions of whether to share legal information with prosecutors.

Meanwhile, the state attorney general and San Bernardino County district attorney continued to pressure the county to waive its attorney-client privilege in the case, welcoming an offer from the county to meet to discuss the request.

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RivPE: Cassie MacDuff: Right Move to Step Aside

10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cassie MacDuff

Stepping aside from discussions on whether to give prosecutors legal documents in the Colonies settlement was the right move for San Bernardino County supervisors Paul Biane and Gary Ovitt.

Both voted in favor of the controversial $102 million settlement in 2006; Biane and Ovitt’s chief of staff are unnamed co-conspirators in alleged criminal wrongdoing.

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10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

San Bernardino County managers have agreed to give up salary increases as the county prepares to deal with a $90 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.

The Board of Supervisors approved the changes to non-union employees’ compensation Tuesday. County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux said the action affects over 500 employees and saves the county about $5.4 million.

To read entire story, click here.

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/24/2010 07:24:26 PM PDT

State and local prosecutors on Wednesday asked to meet with the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Monday in an effort to convince the board to waive its attorney-client privilege and allow closer scrutiny of the talks leading to a $102 million settlement with developer Colonies Partners LP in 2006.

County officials have agreed to make the county’s top lawyer available for a meeting with prosecutors next week but it was not immediately clear Wednesday whether the board members themselves would take part.

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InlandPolitics: Statement issued by Jeff Burum

Statement from Jason Kinney on behalf of Jeff Burum

“With or without a waiver, the facts will establish that the settlement was overwhelmingly fair, saving the County at least $100,000,000 in damages and tens of millions in additional legal fees. Colonies has been and continues to be willing to discuss a waiver. But we would like some assurances that it will be in the interest of establishing the truth and objectively assessing the fairness of the process, not for scoring political points or making reckless accusations.”

Paul Biane

SAN BERNARDINO – San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Paul Biane released the following statement on Tuesday regarding his decision to voluntarily recuse himself from participating in the Board’s vote on whether to waive attorney client privilege as requested by the Attorney General.

“I stand by my earlier statements that I did absolutely nothing wrong or unethical when I made the very difficult decision to settle the lawsuit following Judge Warner’s tentative ruling indicating the County would likely not prevail in court.

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Neil Derry

To read statement issued by Supervisor Neil Derry regarding Attorney General request for waiver of privilege, click here: Statement by Supervisor Neil Derry

To read statement issued by Board of Supervisors Chairman and Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt regarding Attorney General request for waiver of privilege, click here: Statement by Supervisor Gary Ovitt

To read statement issued by Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons regarding waiver of privilege, click here: Statement issued by California Attorney General

InlandPolitics: Statement issued by Colonies Partners

To read statement from Attorney George B. Speir on behalf of Colonies Partners regarding Attorney General request for waiver of privilege, click here: Statement by Colonies Partners

To read statement regarding the Attorney General request for waiver of privilege, click here: Statement by County of San Bernardino

11:27 PM PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

By DAVID OLSON
The Press-Enterprise

For the third year in a row, Riverside County’s growth continued to outpace the state’s, while more people moved out of San Bernardino County than moved in, according to newly released 2009 census population estimates.

The data reveal that, despite a slightly higher unemployment rate than San Bernardino County and higher housing prices, Riverside County continues to attract more new residents than its neighbor.

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By Mike Cruz
Posted: 03/24/2010 06:02:07 PM PDT

Computer disk drives and documents were seized from the Temecula office of a civil attorney representing former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin as part of the District Attorney’s ongoing investigation into county corruption.

Deputy District Attorney Lewis Cope confirmed Wednesday that investigators collected the potential evidence while serving a search warrant Mar. 18 at the office of lawyer Alan Mohill, in the 43000 block of Blackdeer Loop. Cope would not quantify how much was seized.

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RivPE: Money race on between Benoit and Jeandron

By PE Politics
March 24, 2010 1:52 PM

The money race is on between Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit and challenger Gary Jeandron.

The two are vying for the board’s 4th District seat, which was once held by the late Supervisor Roy Wilson. Benoit was appointed to the post late last year after Wilson resigned shortly before his death.

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L.A. NOW
Southern California — this just in

March 24, 2010 | 5:22 pm

State election officials announced Wednesday that an initiative to legalize marijuana will be on the November ballot, triggering what will likely be an expensive, divisive and much-watched campaign to decide whether California will again lead the nation in softening drug laws.

Los Angeles County election officials Wednesday turned in their official estimate of the number of valid signatures, putting the statewide figure above the 433,971 needed for the measure to make the ballot. The county, where one-fifth of the signatures were collected, was the last to report its count, filing just before 5 p.m.

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Carly Fiorina

By DENA BUNIS
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

GOP hopefuls all in tight race with Democratic incumbent Boxer

Update: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has caught up to former Rep. Tom Campbell in the Republican primary race for Sen. Barbara Boxer’s seat, according to the results of a new Public Policy Institute of California poll.

Both Republican challengers would be neck and neck with the third-term incumbent Democrat if the election were held today.

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