Courts

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/18/16 – 7:56 PM PDT |

The California Supreme Court has rejected a petition by a defense attorney in a San Bernardino County public corruption case to consider dismissing the indictment on grounds of alleged prosecutorial misconduct, paving the way for trial in October.

Defense attorney Stephen G. Larson, who is representing defendant Jeff Burum in the high-profile criminal case, petitioned the Supreme Court on June 21, after the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside denied his appeal June 8.

The Supreme Court denied Larson’s petition Wednesday, court records show.

In his first appeal to the Fourth District, Larson challenged San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael Smith’s Jan. 15 denial of his motion requesting dismissal of the indictment on grounds that prosecutors with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s and state Attorney General’s offices allegedly withheld exculpatory evidence from the indicting grand jury in April 2011.

The long-awaited criminal trial is scheduled to commence on Oct. 17 in San Bernardino before Smith.

Larson could not be reached for comment Thursday.

District Attorney spokesman Christopher Lee declined to comment on the Supreme Court action, but said in an email Thursday that prosecutors do not have any plans to seek a continuance beyond the Oct. 17 trial date.

Burum, a wealthy Rancho Cucamonga developer, and three top former county officials were indicted in May 2011 in connection with an alleged bribery scandal that netted Burum’s Rancho Cucamonga investor group, Colonies Partners LP, a $102 million settlement from the county. Prosecutors allege the settlement, which ended a near five-year legal battle over flood control improvements at Colonies’ residential and commercial development in Upland, was tainted by bribery and blackmail.

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