Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/01/2012 07:54:23 PM PDT
A spokesman for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that prosecutors have not decided if they will continue fighting to reinstate bribery charges against a Rancho Cucamonga developer to the state Supreme Court.
“No decision has been made about whether to ask the California Supreme Court to provide further review of the remaining legal issues in dispute,” district attorney’s spokesman Christopher Lee said in an email Thursday.
On Wednesday, the state 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside rejected a request by state and local prosecutors to reinstate four bribery charges against Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum that were dropped in August 2011 by San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Brian McCarville.
Burum and three former county officials face felony charges in a sweeping San Bernardino County corruption case in which prosecutors allege the four engaged in bribery and conspiracy to influence a $102million legal settlement between the county and Burum’s investor groups, Colonies Partners LP, in November 2006.
Also charged in the case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt.
All four defendants deny any wrongdoing.
The appellate court did grant a request by prosecutors to reinstate a charge of misappropriation of public funds against Biane, Kirk and Erwin that was initially dropped by McCarville during the August 2011 motion hearing.
In addition, the appellate court determined that McCarville erred by not dropping a conflict-of-interest charge against Burum and Erwin and two bribery charges against Erwin.
“We’re very pleased with the appellate court’s decision knocking out these three counts,” Erwin’s attorney, Rajan Maline, said Thursday. “And we’re going to continue to work very hard because Mr. Erwin is innocent. We’re very eager to get back to the trial court to litigate this.”
A pre-trial hearing for the four defendants is scheduled for today in San Bernardino Superior Court, where prosecutors may provide a clearer picture as to whether they plan to proceed to trial or appeal to the state Supreme Court.
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