Scales of Justice

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge today dismissed a conspiracy count against four defendants in a prominent public corruption case.

Judge Michael A. Smith ruled that the three-year statute of limitations regarding conspiracy charges had expired against developer Jeffrey Burum, former Supervisor Paul Biane, former assistant assessor Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

Today is the first of a scheduled two-day session before Judge Smith. The defense team is expected to ask that all of the charges be dismissed. The defendants have steadfastly maintained their innocence from the beginnings of the investigation and have intimated that the charges were politically motivated.

Prosecutors argued the statute should have been extended to four years, which would have left all four men open to conspiracy charges.

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