Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Created: 11/07/2011 06:53:01 PM PST

The remaining search warrants served in a sweeping corruption probe involving a legal settlement between the county and a Rancho Cucamonga developer were released Monday.

The warrants were served between Dec. 2, 2008 and Oct. 22, 2010, in an investigation into the county’s landmark $102 million settlement with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP in November 2006. They detail contributions made by the developer to political action committees following the settlement, as well as land deals involving former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and his business partner, John “Dino” DeFazio, who faces separate criminal charges for allegedly lying to a grand jury.

Former County Assistant Assessor of Support Adam Aleman provided the information to district attorney investigators as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Aleman told investigators that Postmus, while serving as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, conspired with Colonies’ co-managing partners Jeff Burum to steer the settlement the developer’s way in exchange for bribes and political favors.

The settlement ended nearly five years of heated legal battle over flood-control easements at the developer’s 434-acre Colonies at San Antonio residential and Colonies Crossroads commercial development in Upland.

Burum, former county Supervisor Paul Biane; former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin; and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt, are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and conflict of interest, among other charges. They deny any wrongdoing.

A judge has dismissed five of seven counts against Burum, including bribery.

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