March 18, 2011 8:47 AM
Natasha Lindstrom

Concerned about an alleged conflict of interest, Hesperia Mayor Pro Tem Russ Blewett has called for replacing the attorney of a regional redevelopment group who also serves as Victorville’s city attorney.

Blewett made the motion at a Wednesday night meeting to issue a Request for Qualifications for a new attorney to serve the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority, a regional board helping to develop Southern California Logistics Airport with representatives from Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto and San Bernardino County.

Attorney Andre de Bortnowsky, who’s represented VVEDA since 1991, became Victorville’s city attorney in November 2007, according to city spokeswoman Monica Petersen.

“No offense, Mr. de Bortnowsky, but I would like to see an attorney that doesn’t represent any of the member agencies,” Blewett said at the roundtable public meeting. “To me it’s an incredible conflict and I don’t like it.”

VVEDA Chairman Brad Mitzelfelt, also San Bernardino County 1st District supervisor, then asked if VVEDA was getting de Bortnowsky’s services at a discounted rate, expressing concerns that VVEDA is short on cash.

However, Mitzelfelt said he has “always been of the opinion that VVEDA needs to be a separate entity” from Victorville and agreed such dual roles could pose conflicts.

For more about the VVEDA meeting, read the full story in Friday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at