Attorneys Stephen Larson, middle, and Jennifer Keller, left, discuss their case with defendant Jeff Burum, one of four defendants currently on trial in San Bernardino County’s Colonies corruption trial. (File Photo)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/09/17 – 3:48 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> While Bill Postmus was being interviewed and turned into a prosecution witness in the Colonies corruption case in 2011, San Bernardino County District Attorney investigators never tested or monitored him for drugs, despite his well-documented use of methamphetamine, Postmus testified Tuesday.

He also said he was under “immense pressure” to offer a story of bribery that fit the narrative of district attorney investigators.

Postmus, a former county supervisor and assessor, testified in a San Bernardino courtroom that he steadfastly refused during interviews with investigators to characterize as bribes the $100,000 political action committee contributions made by Rancho Cucamonga-based investor group Colonies Partners LP to him and others.

Prosecutors allege three county officials each took $100,000 bribes, reported as campaign contributions, from Rancho Cucamonga developer and defendant Jeff Burum to gain approval for a $102 million court settlement in November 2006 that ended a nearly five-year legal battle over flood control work at Colonies Partners’ 434-acre residential and commercial development in Upland.

Burum is a co-managing partner of Colonies Partners. Also charged in the case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for former county Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

All four defendants deny any wrongdoing.

By February 2011, when Postmus was talking to the District Attorney’s office about the Colonies case, he had already been arrested in January 2009 when investigators found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his home.

Postmus maintains he has been sober since 2012.

Postmus told Burum’s defense attorney Jennifer Keller that when he began cooperating with investigators, he was struggling financially, couldn’t find work and was facing prison time for drug charges.

“I didn’t have a chance,” he told Keller.

“You went in there with the intention of telling the truth, but you felt you weren’t being believed?” Keller asked of the district attorney investigator interviews.

“Yes,” Postmus answered.

“Did they ever drug test you?” Keller asked him.

“No.”

“In all those interviews?”

“No. But my attorney did,” Postmus told her.

“They didn’t ask you for copies of your drug test?”

“I don’t know if they ever had that conversation,” Postmus answered.

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