Council reacts to Pomierski’s woes
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 03/14/2011 09:45:02 PM PDT

UPLAND – City council members were dismayed by the charges filed against their former Mayor John “JP” Pomierski, but only newly appointed Mayor Ray Musser said he had previous suspicions.

Pomierski and Upland contractor John Hennes were named in an 11-count indictment filed March 2 by a federal grand jury.

The indictment accuses Pomierski of forcing owners of two businesses to pay him $45,000 in bribes.

Pomierski and Hennes pleaded not-guilty March 3 in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Pomierski did not return calls for comment.

Mayor Ray Musser said he was not surprised by the allegations. He has been critical of some of Pomierski’s actions in the past, which motivated him to run against the former mayor in 2004 and 2008.

Musser was appointed mayor after Pomierski resigned on Feb. 22.

“Obviously, this is why I ran for mayor,” Musser said. “I had proof in my files of a situation where this was happening in writing. I had a photo copy of a check. That was in writing and an agreement itself.”

In 2007, Pomierski entered into a consulting agreement with the owner of 70 acres of land in San Antonio Heights.

Musser said because the city provides the water and sewer to large properties in the Heights, and Pomierski signed on to be a consultant to install water and sewer, he had a conflict of interest.

According to the agreement, Pomierski was to attend “meetings with the principles and the necessary departments for the entitlement process.”

The consulting aspect of the agreement “is not limited to meetings but includes scheduling and submittals by the principles architects, engineers and other consultants necessary to ascertain plans for the development process.”

Pomierski asked the land owner for $50,000, with $25,000 down. Musser said he obtained copies of a $25,000 check made out to Pomierski.

Pomierski’s personal attorney, Robert Schauer, said the $25,000 payment is an “outright falsity” and Pomierski was never given the check nor was it cashed.

“A broker involved was writing to JP Construction for $25,000 and the broker wrote it, I think because the broker wanted to show the seller that they had a consultant on board,” he said.

Schauer said the project never got off the ground, but if it had gone to the City Council for a vote, Pomierski would not have a conflict of interest if he sat out the vote.

“There was absolutely no conflict of interest. This had nothing to do with the city of Upland whatsoever,” Schauer said.

Pomierski was going to act as a consultant on the property to see if it could be developed, Schauer said.

“The property head was not in the city of Upland and it had nothing to do with the city of Upland,” Schauer said.

Councilman Ken Willis said he was surprised when FBI and IRS agents confiscated records from City Hall and Pomierski’s home office in June. Prior to the raid he had not heard about any possible illegal activity.

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