Friday, April 22, 2011 – 08:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday April 22, 2011 – 09:35 a.m.

A story titled “Ruling opens door” published Tuesday in The Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspapers presents a wild stretch at applying a recent California court decision as being similar to alleged misconduct involving a $102 million settlement between the County of San Bernardino and Colonies Partners L.P.

This time, the onus isn’t on reporter Joe Nelson, but on the self-proclaimed legal experts quoted in the story.

First, someone had to feed the newspaper the case of Hub City Solid Waste Services, Inc. v. City of Compton, 186 Cal. App. 4th 1114.

Second, it’s someone whose law firm likely has a financial stake (i.e. legal fees) related to the case.

Three, it’s someone likely attempting to influence the perceptions of four different groups.

Those groups being, the public, a potential jury pool, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and their repsective client.

The drive for such activity is the recent blanket plea by former county supervisor Bill Postmus to 14 felony charges, that will ultimately result in a felony conviction for conflict of interest.

The basis and motivation for the plea have yet to be explored in open court.

The premise is being put forward that the Hub City case is similar to the Colonies case, and thus could be used as precedent to set aside the settlement and also block legal action by the County of San Bernardino to recover a portion of the settlement from the City of Upland, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the California Department of Transportation (CALTrans).

The county has recently admitted partial responsibility and has pointed the finger at the other three entities as being primarily responsible for damages inflicted on the limited partnership.

The most amazing part of the story is the clear lack of understanding of what type of conduct Government Code section 1090 was enacted to address.

That conduct being ‘self-dealing’.

In the aforementioned case, the individual, Aloyan, was paid by the city of Compton as an outside consultant and given the title of ‘Director’.

The individual, Aloyan, specifically made recommendations to the Compton City Council to hire his company, Hub City Solid Waste Services, Inc.

The court determined Aloyan to be a public official, subject to the provisions of section 1090, who benefited from his own actions.

The court ordered disgorgement of all payments, paid by Compton to Hub City, for the entire three-year contract period.

To view the Hub City opinion click here: Compton v. Hub City