10:00 PM PDT on Friday, August 13, 2010

Cassie MacDuff

Bill Postmus needs help before he self-destructs completely.

Who shows up for a crucial court hearing under the influence of drugs?

This is becoming a pattern for the 39-year-old former San Bernardino County supervisor and assessor.

Within days of admitting publicly, in January 2009, that he’d had a drug problem and (he said) overcome it, Postmus was arrested on drug possession charges after methamphetamine and a crack pipe were found in his apartment during a search in a public-corruption case.

Knowing he was under suspicion for his actions in the assessor’s office and had admitted drug abuse, why wouldn’t he get rid of the dope and the crack pipe?

On Thursday, when Postmus arrived in court for a hearing to determine if he must go to trial on the corruption charges, he appeared to be on drugs.

Officers sent for a drug-recognition expert and Postmus was carted off to jail.

This man needs to get his act together before trial on very serious charges.

His lawyer, Stephen Levine, said it’s a personal tragedy that Postmus can’t seem to lick his problem. He’d prefer his client be clean, sober and alert enough to help with his defense.

Assistant DA Jim Hackleman said prosecutors hope Postmus can get a handle on his drug problems so the case can proceed.

It’s not looking good.

Stan Chambers was reporting news in Los Angeles before I was born. His retirement from KTLA at 87 last week is the end of an era.

I never met Chambers formally. But I did share space with him at one of the most memorable news events of my career. In one instant, I learned what a TV news professional is.

It was April 26, 1994, the cold, stormy day that Richard Nixon’s body was brought home to California.

The broad steps of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda were cleared for the military escort to carry the casket to the lobby.

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