Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Created: 11/23/2010 02:56:00 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – Former Assessor’s Office executives Bill Postmus and Gregory Eyler denied the criminal charges against them Tuesday at an arraignment.

Postmus, a former assessor, and Eyler, a former taxpayer advocate, entered not guilty pleas on all charges and denied all special allegations during the proceedings before Judge Michael A. Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Smith ordered both men held over for trial at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing Nov. 8, prompting the arraignment proceedings.

The defendants face felony criminal charges stemming from an investigation into alleged malfeasance in the Assessor’s Office while it was under Postmus’ direction in 2007 and 2008.

The judge also on Friday confirmed Deputy Public Defender Rod Curbelo to represent Eyler, after the court was informed Nov. 19 that Eyler could no longer afford his private attorney, Stan Hodge.

But Curbelo is not completely sure his office can remain on the case.

“At this point, we have yet to receive any discovery in this matter,” Curbelo told the court. “And we have yet to run a conflict check.”

Prosecutor Lewis Cope told the court he was concerned a conflict could be forthcoming, given the history of the case.

The Public Defender’s Office must review discovery to determine whether it has previously represented anyone in connection with the case, including witnesses, which could create a conflict.

In one of Postmus’ other cases, which has a similar set of witnesses, the public defender declared a conflict April 30 and a conflict-panel attorney was brought on board to represent Postmus.

Eyler returns to court Jan. 7 to determine if Curbelo will remain. Both defendants come back Jan. 28 for a pretrial hearing.

To read entire story, click here.