Sandra Emerson, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Created: 12/06/2011 12:05:33 PM PST

UPLAND – An Upland contractor who was named in an 11-count indictment along with former Mayor John Pomierski has pleaded guilty to two of the four counts against him.

John Hennes, owner of J.H. Builders, has changed his plea to guilty as part of a sealed plea agreement regarding one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and making false statements to federal agents.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25.

“He offered to cooperate. He offered to talk to the government even before he was arrested and charged,” said Hennes’ attorney, Kenneth White. “Now he’s come forward, and he’s going to tell the truth to the government and the court and try to make this right.”

Hennes and Pomierski were indicted on March 2 on federal corruption charges that outline an extortion scheme targeting two Upland businesses, including the Chronic Cantina bar and restaurant.

They both pleaded not guilty on March 3.

White said Hennes decided to change his plea to guilty in order to take responsibility for what he did and be a stand-up guy.

“Mr. Hennes is somebody who has been a respected contractor in the community out there for many years,” White said. “He’s a hard-working guy. He raised two kids on his own. He is very actively involved in charity and church and the soccer league.”

The two remaining counts include conspiracy and extortion.

“As part of the agreement what’s typical in federal court is that the remaining charges will be dropped at the time of sentencing,” White said.

White said Hennes’ potential sentence is complex and based on several factor that haven’t happened yet.

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