Pomierski reportedly vowed to swing votes
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 03/07/2011 10:04:25 PM PST

UPLAND – The indictment of former Mayor John Pomierski has left the City Council members disappointed – and in a position to defend themselves.

The 11-count indictment returned last week by a federal grand jury says Pomierski on Jan. 28, 2010, told the owners of an unidentified Upland business that in order to expedite their permit approval, he would speak with council members when it came time for a vote.

Pomierski pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of conspiracy, extortion and bribery at U.S District Court in Riverside.

Former Councilman Tom Thomas said Pomierski never approached him about the permit.

“I can’t speak for (Pomierski), but it seems to me he was trying to add credibility for his alleged request for whatever he was asking for,” Thomas said.

“But I wasn’t part of those conversations, and I was not on the receiving end after them.”

Pomierski also said he spoke to another city official about the application for a permit and would obtain from the city a copy of the security plan from another business to assist the preparation of the new permit application, according to the indictment.

In December 2009, alleged co-conspirator Anthony Sanchez applied for a permit to open the Rockin’ Roadhouse in the former Chronic Cantina building at 220 N. Central Ave.

The council revoked the Chronic Cantina’s conditional- use permit in April 2009.

Sanchez spoke at an Upland Planning Commission on April 28, 2010, but the commission did not vote to approve the application.

Councilman Brendan Brandt said Pomierski never approached him about the permit, and the issue never came to a vote.

“The way I read the indictment is that he was going to allegedly talk to the council when it came time to vote,” Brandt said. “If in fact Business A is this Rockin’ Roadhouse, my recollection is that that never came before the council for a vote nor was it ever agendized for a vote.”

In an e-mailed statement sent Friday morning, City Attorney William Curley said newly appointed Mayor Ray Musser and the City Council are taking aggressive actions to ensure the city is not perceived to be included in any of the allegations issued by the grand jury.

The documentation from the Department of Justice is clear that the city is not involved in any of the alleged actions, he said.

“The City Council regrets any misperceptions and seeks to immediately clear up any appearance that its organization, or anyone acting in their official city capacity, was involved in any matter described in the documents,” he said.

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