By Sandra Emerson Staff Writer
Posted: 07/29/2011 04:37:30 PM PDT

A judge will continue to review a request to delay the San Bernardino County Flood Control District’s lawsuit against three public agencies seeking to recoup part of a $102 million settlement at the center of bribery allegations.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom decided Friday to take into submission an effort by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBAG), the city of Upland and Caltrans to delay the district’s lawsuit against them pending the outcome of a bribery case surrounding the settlement.

The case is in San Diego County to avoid potential conflict of interest.

Bloom issued a tentative ruling earlier this month to deny the agencies’ request. He was scheduled to make a final ruling Friday.

The district’s lawsuit contends that the three agencies were responsible for the design of an Upland storm drain that channeled floodwater onto the property of Colonies’ development in Upland, and therefore should pay the cost of the county’s $102 million settlement with the developer.

The settlement is at the center of a case against Colonies developer Jeff Burum, in which prosecutors allege he bribed county officials in order to get a favorable deal.

Burum was indicted with Paul Biane, former county supervisor; Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt; and Jim Erwin, former assistant county assessor, union boss and former chief of staff to Supervisor Neil Derry.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, bribery, conflict of interest as well as other charges. They have all denied the allegations.

When former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from Colonies in exchange for his vote to approve the settlement, attorneys for the three agencies argued that the district should go after Colonies for the settlement money, not the agencies.

SanBAG adopted a resolution calling for the case to be delayed. The city of Upland sent a letter to the county also requesting that the suit be delayed.

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