Bill Postmus in March 2011 after his plea deal hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court./FILE PHOTO
RICHARD K. De ATLEY, STAFF WRITER
Published: 12 July 2012 03:48 PM
Defense attorneys in a San Bernardino County corruption case will get to see some of the emails and text messages between former Assessor Bill Postmus and the district attorney’s office, a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday, July 13.
The judge said there were “obvious credibility issues” regarding Postmus, who acted as an informant in the so-called Colonies case that brought conspiracy and bribery charges to a developer and three now-former county officials.
But Judge Michael A. Smith also said that most of the documents sought by the defense will remain sealed.
“I understand that Postmus is an essential and critical witness in the case,” Smith told defense attorney Stephen Larson, who represents Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeffrey Burum in the case.
“There are obvious credibility issues regarding Mr. Postmus,” Smith said. “I am aware of that and sensitive to that.”
The judge said his ruling will “err on the side of — if there is anything that is likely to go to potential credibility — to provide that.”
He said the messages he reviewed did have areas of privilege and confidentiality, or no relevance to the case, and those will remain sealed. Smith said “the majority” of the documents fell under those categories.
The judge declined to turn over the documents to the defense on an “attorneys’ eyes only” basis, as suggested by Larson. Communication about materials in the case was “much improved” with the district attorney’s office in the last six weeks or so, Larson told Smith. The next court date is Aug. 24.
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