Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 12/08/2011 08:04:06 PM PST

San Bernardino County prosecutors have filed four additional perjury charges against an Apple Valley businessman accused of lying to the Grand Jury in a sweeping county corruption probe.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court for John Dino DeFazio, 51, was continued until Jan. 26 due to the additional felony charges that were filed Monday, prosecutor John Goritz said.

Goritz said a reassessment of the evidence prompted him to file the additional charges and rethink how the case is presented in court.

Prosecutors allege DeFazio, who is the former business partner of former county Assessor Bill Postmus, lied to the Grand Jury in October 2009 about his control over a political action committee, Inland Empire PAC, which prosecutors say was actually controlled by Postmus and used to conceal a $100,000 bribe from a Rancho Cucamonga developer.

DeFazio was arrested in February 2010 and initially charged with two felony counts of perjury. Prosecutors allege he lied to the Grand Jury when he said he made all decisions regarding the PAC’s activities, and that he recruited businessmen Jeff Bentow and Mike Gallagher to serve as officers of the PAC.

DeFazio also told the Grand Jury he spoke frequently with Bentow and Gallagher regarding the PAC’s activity and donations. But Gallagher and Bentow both told district attorney investigators during interviews they had no knowledge of or affiliation with the PAC.

Postmus, who in March pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonies in connection with county corruption probes, admitted he controlled the PAC and and took a bribe from developer Jeff Burum.

According to a criminal complaint against county Supervisor Neil Derry, filed in April by the state Attorney General’s Office, Postmus directed the PAC’s treasurer, via e-mail, to cut a $10,000 check to Derry’s supervisorial campaign in June 2007.

To read entire story, click here.