BY IMRAN GHORI
STAFF WRITER
ighori@pe.com

Published: 20 April 2012 11:42 AM

A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge agreed Friday to lift bail for three former county officials and a developer facing corruption charges.

Judge Michael Smith agreed to allow the four men to remain free on their own recognizance as the case continues to remain in the pre-trial stage almost a year after the defendants were indicted.

Last May, a grand jury charged Colonies Partners co-managing partner Jeff Burum, former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt, with conspiracy and bribery-related charges.

They are accused of taking part in a conspiracy that led to a $102 million settlement paid by the county to Burum’s company in November 2006.

Burum’s defense attorney Stephen Larson argued that the defendants have proven they are not a flight risk with their regular appearances in court over the past year.

“These defendants have demonstrated they are very vigorously dedicated to staying here and proving their innocence,” he said.

To read entire story, click here.