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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 05/19/16 – 5:07 PM PDT |

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Motion to Dismiss – Destruction of Evidence by Attorney General

A defense attorney in San Bernardino County’s Colonies corruption case has filed a motion in Superior Court seeking dismissal of the case on grounds that prosecutors destroyed evidence.

The motion, filed May 13 in San Bernardino Superior Court, states that prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office destroyed emails defense attorney Stephen Larson requested on behalf of his client, Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, a defendant in the public corruption case.

Burum is accused of paying $100,000 in bribes to three former top county officials to fix a $102 million settlement among Burum’s Rancho Cucamonga investor group, Colonies Partners LP, and the county in November 2006. The settlement ended a nearly five-year legal battle over who was responsible for flood- control improvements at Colonies’ 434-acre residential development and shopping center in Upland, Colonies at San Antonio and Colonies Crossroads, respectively.

Larson was seeking the emails to show that prosecutors had been communicating with former San Bernardino County Counsel Ruth Stringer and Deputy County Counsel Mitch Norton prior to the April 2011 grand jury proceedings and had knowledge they had reversed their opinions regarding the settlement.

While Norton and Stringer testified before the grand jury in 2011 that in 2006 they believed the settlement was not justified and refused to ratify it, prosecutors did not elicit testimony from the two that they had since changed their opinions and believed the settlement was legitimate.

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