Monday, July 4, 2011 – 08:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 – 10:00 p.m.
An unexpected shoe dropped over the weekend related to the county corruption investigation.
And I mean unexpected!
An article published in Saturdays edition of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper reports that San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford is asking chief executive officer Greg Devereaux on how to proceed with identifying the best use for a 1,200-acre parcel of land encompassing the area around Los Osos High School in the unincorporated area adjacent to the City of Rancho Cucamonga.
A controversial piece of land owned by the San Bernardino County Flood Control District and tied to the District Attorney’s probe of alleged political wrongdoing in San Bernardino County government.
As a matter of fact, it’s the most lucrative piece of undeveloped real estate in the West Valley region of the county.
And guess who shows up being quoted in the story?
None other than Randall Lewis, president of The Lewis Group of Companies and heavy supporter of Rutherford during her stint on the Fontana City Council and also in her race to unseat former County Supervisor Paul Biane.
What’s puzzling here?
Why would Rutherford bring up the issue of the 1,200 acre parcel during the prosecution of the People v. Paul Biane, et al. case involving a $102 million settlement between the County of San Bernardino and Colonies Partners L.P.
A case charging Colonies co-managing partner Jeffrey Burum.
A case where the 1,200 acre parcel is alleged to have been a part of the dialogue during the Colonies settlement negotiations.
One of the entities seeking to win control over the development of the 1,200 acres was Rancho Alliance.
A group comprising The Lewis Group of Companies, Diversified Pacific, and Young Homes among others.
Diversified Pacific is a real estate development company owned by Jeffrey Burum and his partner Matt Jordan.
It’s well-known that initially, Randall Lewis didn’t want Burum’s Diversified Pacific having any cut of the development of the aforementioned 1,200 acres.
But later, Lewis embraced and encouraged Burum’s involvement.
The Lewis company and its executives was neck deep in behind-the-scenes politics related to the parcel.
It is also well-known that the Lewis family, maybe with the exception of the late David Lewis, hated Burum and wanted to do any and everything possible to hurt him and set him and his investors back.
But they needed his public presentation skills, and thus Burum was able to secure an interest in the investment group.
Sources say painstaking efforts have been undertaken to keep The Lewis Group of Companies from appearing in the District Attorney investigation.
And I mean painstaking!
Now Rutherford appears to be ‘altruistically’ angling the 1,200 acres solely towards the Lewis’ hands.
It’s suspected the Lewis name will eventually rear its head in the ongoing criminal prosecution of Burum and others. It’s highly likely that brothers, Randall and Richard Lewis, will be called as witnesses at trial.
As a matter of fact, one can probably bank on it actually happening.
So, once again, the question is why would this matter come up now?