Former San Bernardino County Assessor and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus listen to the judge during his hearing at the San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino, Ca., Friday, January 19, 2018. Postmus’ sentencing for crime he committed at the Assessor’s Office in 2007 and 2008 and in the Colonies public corruption case,was postponed because he retained new lawyer Jeffery Jeffrey Lawrence. (John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Updated: January 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Sentencing for former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus was delayed on Friday after Postmus retained a new attorney, who told the judge he may file a motion to withdraw Postmus’s 2011 guilty plea.

Postmus, 46, of Hesperia told Judge Michael A. Smith he decided to seek out new counsel after learning of conversations Smith had with Stephen Levine, one of Postmus’s attorneys, and prosecutor Lewis Cope, subsequent to the conclusion of the Colonies bribery trial in September. Attorneys would not elaborate on what those conversations were about.

Smith dismissed Levine, who defended Postmus in his criminal case involving crimes he committed as county Assessor. Smith also excused attorney Richard Farquhar, who represented Postmus in the Colonies corruption case, and noted Postmus’s new attorney of record, Jeffrey Lawrence.

Lawrence requested the postponement of sentencing so he could review the case files. He may also file a motion with the court to withdraw Postmus’s March 2011 guilty plea, which was struck per a plea bargain with prosecutors in exchange for Postmus turning state’s evidence and testifying for the prosecution during the marathon Colonies trial. The trial spanned from January through September last year and ended in the acquittal of three defendants and dismissal of all charges against the fourth defendant, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, after his jury announced it was “hopelessly deadlocked.”

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