Victorville

Long list of former, current officials expected to be called

SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jan. 7, 2015 @ 8:34 pm
Updated at 8:37 PM

VICTORVILLE — Depositions are expected to get underway next week, nearly two years after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the city of Victorville, its airport authority and others of dramatically inflating the combined valuation of four airport hangars in a 2008 municipal bond offering.

Former City Councilwoman Angela Valles, who was elected to the dais two years after the allegedly fraudulent offering, is scheduled to be the first deponent on Jan. 14, according to a joint status report filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

The list of officials to be interviewed reads like a who’s-who of recent Victorville politics, including former Mayor Pro Tem JoAnn Almond on Jan. 15; former Mayor Mike Rothschild on Jan. 23; former Mayor Rudy Cabriales on Jan. 30; current Mayor Pro Tem Jim Cox on Feb. 6; former Finance Director John Sullivan on Feb. 23; and former Mayor Terry Caldwell on Feb. 25.

The confirmed depositions, including 19 deponents in all, are scheduled to be heard through April 27.

The SEC is also working on finalizing 29 additional depositions that would include former City Manager Jon Roberts on March 11 or March 12; City Attorney Andre de Bortnowsky on April 13 or April 14; and Assistant City Manager Keith Metzler on April 23, the joint report stated.

The depositions, at the very least, represent a step forward in a case that is now expected to head to trial Oct. 27 and has been slowed by mountains of discovery as well as attorney changes for bond underwriters KND Holdings, Inc.

While there appears to be mutual agreement on the October trial date, the SEC has stated that it wants to end non-expert discovery by April 30. However, the defendants in the case, in a joint statement, asked to push the cut-off date back a month.

“Defendants anticipate that in light of the significant number of depositions to be completed (including many third-party depositions), as well as the fact that counsel for Mr. (Jeffery) Kinsell, Ms. (Janees) Williams and the KND Defendants was just retained,” their statement read, “completing the remaining depositions within the next three-and-a-half months may not be logistically possible and in any event will severely tax the parties’ resources.”

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