Joe Nelson and Mike Cruz, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Created: 11/04/2011 10:56:54 AM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Eleven search warrants served over a two-year period in a sweeping corruption probe tied to a legal settlement between the county and a Rancho Cucamonga developer were ordered released Friday by a Superior Court judge.

Read the documents: 1 | 2

(Disclaimers: Document #1 contains explicit language; pages containing private information have been removed from Document #2)

Judge Michael A. Smith ordered the search warrants released Friday after defense attorneys did not appear in court to object to their release or request redactions be made to the documents.

Six of the 11 warrants, which span from Dec. 2, 2008, to Oct. 22, 2010, were released. The remaining five are expected to be released early next week.

The documents provide a glimpse into the private life of former county assessor and former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus.

A laptop computer, mobile phone and Blackberry seized from Postmus during searches by district attorney investigators turned up explicit communications between Postmus and men he met online, where Postmus solicited drugs and sex, according to the search warrants. On one occasion, Postmus, on the gay dating website Adam4Adam, allegedly offered a man $500 to spend the night with him.

Prosecutors have alleged that Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum was on the verge of using lurid details about Postmus’ private life against him in order to win a favorable settlement.

Investigators also turned up information showing that former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin allegedly used at least three
political action committees to pay for legal expenses to Temecula-based attorney Alan Mohill.

One of the political action committees Erwin allegedly used to pay his legal expenses included the Committee for Effective Government, which prosecutors allege was used to funnel a $100,000 bribe to Erwin from Burum.

Erwin, Burum, former county Supervisor Paul Biane and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt, have been charged with conspiracy and conflict of interest, among other charges, in connection with the county’s Nov. 28, 2006, legal settlement with Rancho Cucamonga-based investor group Colonies Partners, LP, of which Burum is a co-managing partner.

State and local prosecutors allege the settlement was tainted by bribery and conspiracy. The FBI has since launched a separate investigation into the settlement.

In August, a Superior Court judge dismissed five of seven charges against Burum, including all bribery counts.

In March, Postmus struck a plea bargain with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to accepting a $100,000 bribe from Burum, in the form of two $50,000 contributions to political action committees he secretly controlled, in exchange for reduced charges.

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