Archive for the ‘ San Jacinto ’ Category

Campaigns

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 11/14/13, 5:50 PM PST |

San Jacinto Councilwoman Crystal Ruiz, 45, said she is likely to enter the race for state Senator Bill Emmerson’s 23rd district seat when he steps down on Dec. 1.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO CORRUPTION CASE: Potts pleads to two misdemeanors

Published: 13 November 2012 – 10:11 AM

With a jury moments away from hearing opening statements in his corruption trial, former San Jacinto Councilman and Treasurer James W. Potts pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors on Tuesday Nov. 13, quietly putting an end to his role in a case that rocked the city three years ago.

To read story by Richard K. De Atley in The Press Enterprise, click here.

The PE: SAN JACINTO: Work release for Mansperger, Stubblefield

BY RICHARD K. De ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Published: 18 November 2011 08:23 AM

Two former San Jacinto City Council members were sentenced Friday to 120 days of weekend work release for their money-laundering roles in the San Jacinto corruption case.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Holgate ordered to serve nine months

BY RICHARD K. De ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Published: 21 October 2011 11:39 AM

Stephen R. Holgate, the developer called the “hub” of a years-long political corruption scandal that rocked the city of San Jacinto, was sentenced to nine months in jail Friday and handcuffed in court to immediately begin his term.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Five guilty pleas in corruption case

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, September 1, 2011

BY RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Five relatives of defendants in the San Jacinto corruption case pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges Thursday for receiving illegal repayments for campaign contributions made in 2007, then lying about it to a grand jury two years later.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO CASE: Key figure enters guilty pleas

10:16 PM PDT on Friday, August 26, 2011

BY RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
STAFF WRITER
rdeatley@pe.com

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

A land developer accused of supplying hundreds of thousands of dollars for bribery and hidden campaign contributions during a political corruption scandal in San Jacinto pleaded guilty Friday for his role in the scheme.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Judge orders shutdown of marijuana storefront

10:00 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

A Riverside County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday to shut down a San Jacinto marijuana dispensary as a public nuisance.

But James DeAguilera, of Redlands, the attorney for Nature’s Serenity in the 500 block of South State Street, said the marijuana collective will continue operating while he files an appeal with the 4th District Court of Appeal.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Nancy Ayres enters her plea

10:39 PM PDT on Friday, June 24, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Entrprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

Former San Jacinto School Board member Nancy Jo Ayres pleaded guilty Friday to a felony charge of falsifying a 2008 elected official’s statement by not reporting $14,000 worth of income from the San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Ex-councilman pleads guilty

10:11 PM PDT on Thursday, June 23, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

A 155-count San Jacinto corruption case against developers and now-former elected officials appeared headed for conclusion with the guilty pleas Thursday of one key defendant and more expected today from another.

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By James Rufus Koren Staff Writer
Posted: 06/09/2011 04:58:51 PM PDT

When elected officials are charged with certain crimes, they can jeopardize the flow of federal funding to their respective cities, counties or other public agencies.

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The PE: INLAND: Board supports Cook bill to boot indicted politicos

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, June 2, 2011

By DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

A bill by Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, to disqualify elected officials indicted in criminal corruption probes from regional boards gained the support of San Bernardino Associated Governments this week.

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The PE: Dozens of charges dropped in corruption case

10:49 PM PDT on Thursday, May 19, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

A judge dismissed dozens of charges Thursday from a sweeping San Jacinto corruption indictment, but scores of counts remain and none of the nine defendants, including four former San Jacinto City Council members, was dropped from the case.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Council reflects on first 100 days

11:55 PM PST on Saturday, March 12, 2011

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

They set a longest-meeting record, at more than five hours, made it clear that a balanced budget does not mean tapping reserves and have moved forward on items like a downtown facelift and a levee project.

The four new San Jacinto City Council members just passed the 100-day mark in office on Friday and took time to review their start and challenges ahead.

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The PE: San Jacinto councilman announces Assembly run

Di Memmo

By PE Politics
on February 22, 2011 2:09 PM

San Jacinto Councilman Steven Di Memmo will be a candidate for state Assembly, he announced in a recent news release.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO VALLEY: Minor not resigning from boards

12:09 AM PST on Sunday, February 20, 2011

By GAIL WESSON and KEVIN PEARSON
The Press-Enterprise

Larry Minor intends to continue serving on two public boards of directors, he says, as long as the public wants him to serve.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Plea bargain for Agri-Empire chief

11:00 PM PST on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY and DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

PDF: Read the indictment of Larry Minor

Agri-Empire chief Larry Minor cannot make political contributions for three years and will pay a $60,000 fine to the state Fair Political Practices Commission in a plea bargain Wednesday to end his campaign contribution money-laundering case.

The 14-count indictment, secretly issued in December, was announced Tuesday and settled less than 24 hours later.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Recall tab still tops candidate spending

11:29 PM PST on Saturday, February 5, 2011

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

Three of the new San Jacinto City Council members were among the top spenders in the November election, but the fourth won his seat with a low-budget campaign.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO: Tentative ruling against conspiracy

11:16 PM PST on Friday, February 4, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

A judge Friday tentatively dismissed conspiracy charges against seven of the nine defendants named in a sweeping 2009 political corruption indictment involving San Jacinto politicians and developers.

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The PE: San Jacinto conspiracy charges in chaos

02:37 PM PST on Friday, February 4, 2011

By RICHARD K. De ATLEY and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

Conspiracy charges were tentatively tossed out Friday against seven of the nine defendants in a sweeping San Jacinto corruption probe, after a Riverside Superior Court judge found prosecutors didn’t sufficiently tie them to a campaign contribution scheme.

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The PE: SAN JACINTO PROBE: Challenge to DA withdrawn

10:00 PM PST on Friday, January 21, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Defense attorneys in the San Jacinto corruption case withdrew a motion to remove the Riverside County district attorney’s office from the matter, saying they will trust new head prosecutor Paul Zellerbach’s word that he will review the case fairly.

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The PE: Indicted San Jacinto developer faces more charges

Holgate

10:00 PM PST on Monday, December 6, 2010

By DUG BEGLEY and DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

PDF: Read the most recent grand jury indictment against Stephen Holgate

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

More charges were filed in Riverside County Superior Court against Stephen Holgate, the embattled San Jacinto developer accused of filling local election coffers with covered-up contributions to skirt election finance laws.

Holgate was indicted Friday by a Riverside County grand jury with one felony and nine misdemeanors, related to contributions to John Benoit’s successful state Senate election.

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The PE: TEMECULA: City manager’s pay is election issue

Nelson

10:58 PM PDT on Monday, October 4, 2010

By JEFF HORSEMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Just five city managers in California — and only one in the Inland area — earned more than Temecula City Manager Shawn Nelson in 2009, according to a survey.

Nelson, 51, earned $336,288 last year, an amount that includes his base salary, deferred compensation and other payouts, according to the survey released last month by the League of California Cities, an advocacy group for cities and towns. Nelson’s base pay is $291,571 a year, according to Temecula.

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The PE: Six ordered to trial in San Jacinto case

10:00 PM PDT on Friday, September 10, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enteprise

Six relatives of some defendants in a San Jacinto political corruption indictment were ordered to stand trial Friday in a perjury and campaign money-laundering case.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly made the ruling at the end of a preliminary hearing that began Aug. 27. Final arguments were Friday.

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PE: Hearing in San Jacinto case resumes in September

05:26 PM PDT on Friday, August 27, 2010

By RICHARD K. De ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

A preliminary hearing to decide whether six relatives of the defendants in a San Jacinto political corruption indictment should be tried in a perjury and campaign money-laundering case will resume next month.

During a day of testimony, only one of the six defendants’ attorneys had a chance to argue that the prosecution’s case is not worthy of trial.

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PE: Bargaining delays hearing for San Jacinto defendants

10:41 PM PDT on Friday, August 20, 2010

By RICHARD K. De ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Discussions are under way that may end in pleas for at least some defendants in a perjury and campaign money laundering case that accuses six relatives of the defendants in a sweeping San Jacinto political corruption indictment.

The negotiations were disclosed in court Friday morning, when a preliminary hearing was scheduled but did not take place. At one point it appeared some pleas might be entered, but by afternoon attorneys said the talks would continue into next week.

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PE: Hearing today for the San Jacinto 6

08:43 AM PDT on Friday, August 20, 2010

Richard K. De Atley The Press-Enterprise

A preliminary hearing on charges of perjury and campaign money laundering is scheduled today for six people who are relatives of defendants in a sweeping San Jacinto political corruption indictment.

The hearing, which could last several days, is in the downtown Riverside Hall of Justice courthouse.

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PE: Four candidates file in San Jacinto recall election

10:00 PM PDT on Thursday, August 19, 2010

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

Two people have qualified as candidates if San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres loses a recall election, and one has qualified and a second has filed to run if Councilman Jim Potts is recalled, officials in the city clerk’s office said.

Potential candidates had until 5 p.m. Thursday to file nomination papers for the recall election, which will be on the same Nov. 2 ballot as the general election.

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RivPE: Four San Jacinto councilmen to face recall election

10:41 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 14, 2010

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

Four of the five San Jacinto City Council members will face a recall election after the Riverside County registrar of voters office certified Wednesday that enough valid signatures had been collected on petitions to trigger an election.

The targets of the recall — Mayor Dale Stubblefield and Councilmen Jim Ayres, John Mansperger and Jim Potts — are defendants in a political corruption case pending in Riverside County court.

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RivPE: Recall petitions submitted against four San Jacinto council members

By PE News
on June 1, 2010 12:26 PM

Backers of a move to recall four San Jacinto City Council members indicted in a political corruption probe filed petitions — with more than 4,000 signatures each — with the city this morning.

San Jacinto City Clerk Rick Miller will count the signatures before forwarding the petitions to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters Office, where signatures will be checked against voter rolls for verification.

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11:04 PM PDT on Sunday, April 4, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

All six people named in a complaint connected to a San Jacinto corruption probe have now entered not guilty pleas to charges they funneled money into election coffers, were secretly reimbursed, and lied about it to a grand jury.

They are scheduled for a May 21 preliminary hearing.

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10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Riverside County district attorney investigators showed up last week at the Northern California offices of a prominent Republican consulting firm and a bookkeeping business linked to a defendant in the campaign-finance prosecution of several Inland political and civic leaders.

Gilliard Blanning and Associates of Rocklin and the KAL Group of Willows have advised dozens of candidates and campaign groups in the Inland area and around the state over the years.

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iePolitics: Cleaning Up Corruption or Political Witch Hunt?

Posted by Administrator at 18 February 2010

The most recent arrests of former San Bernardino County Assessor William “Bill” Postmus and former Chief of Staff to Supervisor Neil Derry, James Erwin, highlights yet again the disparity in treatment by San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos when compared with other jurisdictions. Ramos clearly is attempting to “punish” those who are political adversaries upfront as he knows the cases against them are weak and convictions are unlikely.

Take a look at the difference between the Postmus/Erwin case and the case of the four San Jacinto City Councilmen who were recently indicted in Riverside County.  The disparity is glaring.

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RivPE: San Jacinto considering cuts to school bus service

10:00 PM PST on Monday, February 8, 2010

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

Children may have to live farther from school to qualify for bus transportation if San Jacinto Unified School District trustees agree to a cost-saving recommendation at tonight’s board meeting.

Currently bus service is available to kindergarten through fifth-grade students living more than one mile from their elementary school and more than three miles away for students in grades 6-12 attending middle or high school.

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RivPE: Two plead not guilty in San Jacinto corruption case

10:00 PM PST on Friday, February 5, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

The wife and the sister of an indicted San Jacinto City Council member entered not-guilty pleas Friday to charges they funneled money into election coffers at the center of a lengthy Riverside County criminal grand jury indictment.

Marcia Lynn Mathews and an attorney for Shanda Lynn Mansperger, who had filed a waiver for her court appearance, entered the pleas before Superior Court Judge Harold F. Bradford.

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RivPE: Signature gathering to start in San Jacinto recall

07:51 PM PST on Tuesday, February 2, 2010
By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

Supporters of a recall of four San Jacinto City Council members should be out gathering signatures later this week, according to the recall campaign manager.

Darrell Connerton said he will meet with volunteers Thursday, once copies of the petitions are printed, a process that began Tuesday.

Interim City Clerk Rick Miller said he approved the petitions for circulation about 4:45 p.m. Monday. He has been consulting the Riverside County registrar of voters office to ensure the paperwork was in order.

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RivPE: San Jacinto mayor files response to recall notice

10:05 PM PST on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

San Jacinto Mayor Dale Stubblefield filed his answer with the city Tuesday to the recall petition against him, according to the city clerk’s office.

The recall campaign is further along against three other City Council members, and the clerk’s office said Tuesday a review of the petition seeking their removal is still in progress.

In his response Stubblefield wrote that he would continue to serve “in a professional and respectful manner.”

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RivPE: Developer in San Jacinto probe got permits that drove up parkway costs

09:37 AM PST on Monday, January 18, 2010

By DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Probe

San Jacinto officials — some now indicted in a sweeping corruption probe — approved permits for a developer also ensnared by the criminal charges, leading county transportation officials to spend thousands more to acquire land for a major regional route, court documents and officials confirmed.

Stephen Holgate, a local developer and one of 15 people indicted in a sweeping campaign corruption probe, was given permits in 2006 to develop property that city and transportation officials knew was part of the planned Mid-County Parkway.

The route one day will connect San Jacinto and Interstate 215 in Perris.

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RivPE: San Jacinto corruption probe hearings continued

10:00 PM PST on Friday, January 15, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Hearings for 15 defendants in two San Jacinto corruption cases were continued on Friday. One of the accused, developer Stephen Holgate, will ask next month to have the case against him dismissed.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael Donner moved the trial readiness conference for nine indicted defendants, including Holgate, to Feb. 26.

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RivPE: Proponents struggle to find success in Inland recalls

10:00 PM PST on Friday, January 1, 2010

By GENE GHIOTTO
The Press-Enterprise

A group of San Jacinto residents seeking to recall four of the city’s five council members may be facing an uphill battle if other efforts to oust Inland politicians in recent years are any indication.

In the past 10 years or so, there have been at least 16 recall attempts in the region with less than a third resulting in a recall election. Only one council member, Murrieta’s Jack van Haaster, was ousted from office.

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RivPE: Campaign-finance laws snared San Jacinto defendants

10:59 PM PST on Sunday, December 20, 2009

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Nine years ago, Stephen Holgate could have given as much as he wanted to aid the Assembly aspirations of San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres. Both men would have been in good company.

But now the two face dozens of charges for running afoul of California’s campaign-finance law. It is at the heart of last month’s 155-count indictment against nine political and civic leaders in San Jacinto, and the basis of last week’s charges against six more people.

The case highlights Riverside County’s role as one of the few — if only — counties in California to prosecute contribution-limit violators, who usually are dealt with by the state’s campaign-finance watchdog agency.

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RivPE: Developer describes how political access helps process

11:01 PM PST on Sunday, December 20, 2009

By DUG BEGLEY and RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Getting a development done in San Jacinto, like many places in Southern California, is a matter of preparation and communication.

It’s having the right permits, making the necessary estimates of time and cost, and then selling that plan — just lines on a plat map — to local officials.

That takes face time. Whether it’s in a coffeehouse around the block from city hall or a developer’s home, the businessmen trying to build and the city leaders trying to encourage growth rub elbows, share stories, and talk about how to make development — inevitable in the region — harmonious with the city.

But sometimes those meetings, close encounters that are the bedrock of business in small cities such as San Jacinto, cross from perfectly legal to prosecutable.

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RivPE: Corruption cases threaten San Jacinto Valley reputation

11:07 PM PST on Saturday, December 19, 2009

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

The high-profile criminal charges came just weeks apart — one after the other — and now threaten the San Jacinto Valley’s reputation for years to come, residents, local officials and experts say.

Public officials at five prominent institutions were ensnared in bribery, corruption and campaign-finance scandals that could send them to prison.

Now, some residents worry the spotlight might hurt the community’s ability to attract new jobs and residents and stick the region with a corruption label they won’t be able to easily shed.

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RivPE: More charged in San Jacinto probe

11:32 PM PST on Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

Six more people linked to a San Jacinto corruption probe were charged Tuesday for their alleged roles in funneling money into election coffers at the center of a lengthy Riverside County criminal grand jury indictment.

All are relatives of elected officials charged last month in the 155-count indictment.

Shanda Lynn Mansperger, 34, of San Jacinto; Christopher Ray Mason, 25, of San Jacinto; Marcia Lynn Mathews, 43, of Hemet; Kirk William Mathews, 50, of Hemet; Carol Ann Gehrum, 68, of San Jacinto; and John Richard Gehrum, 40, of Hemet, all appeared Tuesday in Riverside County Superior Court.

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RivPE: 3,000 signatures needed for San Jacinto recall effort

10:26 PM PST on Friday, December 11, 2009

By DUANE W. GANG and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Backers seeking to recall four indicted San Jacinto city councilmen will need nearly 3,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

“The passions are running extremely high in the city on this,” said Brian Hildreth, an attorney for the recall effort. “I suspect that this will qualify for the ballot in a quarter of the time we would need.”

At their first council meeting since a being charged in a 155-count indictment, Mayor Dale Stubblefield, Councilman Jim Ayres and Councilman James Potts were served Thursday with notices of intention, one of the first steps in the formal recall process.

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08:48 AM PST on Friday, December 11, 2009

By GAIL WESSON AND DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Three of four San Jacinto City Council members who were indicted last month in a sweeping corruption probe were served with recall notices at Thursday night’s council meeting.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the presumption of innocence,” said Brian T. Hildreth, attorney for the citizens group SCRAM — San Jacinto Corruption Recall Active Movement — which is behind the recall. But the indicted officials remaining on the council keeps a “dark cloud of scandal and corruption over the city and the council in particular.”

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10:43 PM PST on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

By RICAHARD K. DE ATLEY and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Anthony Bong Lee gave San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres $500 for his 2006 state Assembly race.

But Lee wouldn’t know Ayres if he passed him on the street.

Lee told prosecutors in a sweeping corruption investigation he couldn’t identify Ayres from a photo, and had “no” involvement in politics when he wrote the check.

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09:39 PM PST on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY and DUG BEGLEY
The Press-Enterprise

A developer at the heart of a sweeping San Jacinto corruption probe wanted to build a “crown jewel” of the community that allowed the then-mayor to buy a home in the elite subdivision for far less than it was worth, a grand jury witness said.

The developer, Stephen Holgate, sold San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres and his wife Nancy — director of the chamber of commerce Holgate co-founded — a home in the Enclave community for thousands less than it likely would have sold for, according to grand jury transcripts released Tuesday.

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PressEnterprise: Two accused in San Jacinto corruption case enter not-guilty pleas

08:09 PM PST on Friday, December 4, 2009

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Two defendants in a San Jacinto corruption case pleaded not guilty Friday to charges they had a role in the money laundering and political bribery case.

Byron Jerry Ellison Sr. and Robert E. Osborne entered their pleas before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michael Donner, who set their next court date for Jan. 15.

A 155-count indictment handed down last month names nine defendants, including developers and four of five members of the San Jacinto City Council.

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PressEnterprise: Transcripts detail effort to protect San Jacinto corruption probe

07:36 PM PST on Monday, November 30, 2009

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

District attorney’s officials argued in recent months against publicly releasing search warrants in the San Jacinto political corruption case, saying the warrants needed to remain sealed to protect the investigation in one of the largest such cases in Riverside County history, according to court transcripts released Monday.

“We’ve already got indications that the people that we’ve interviewed have already been coached and spoken to by some of our suspects in the case,” said Kim Robinson, a district attorney’s investigator, to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez, according to transcripts of an Aug. 19 closed-door meeting.

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11:31 PM PST on Saturday, November 28, 2009

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO – Inland developer Stephen Russell Holgate spent well into the six figures to propel the legislative aspirations of San Jacinto Councilman Jim Ayres, according to Riverside County prosecutors. But why would he?

Land-use decisions have long been the turf of city councils and county boards of supervisors. The Legislature includes 120 people. Ayres, if his 2006 Assembly campaign had been successful, would have been just another member of a heavily outnumbered Republican minority.

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RivPE: Warrants implicate man with few ties to San Jacinto

10:00 PM PST on Thursday, November 26, 2009

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Of the nine defendants named in the San Jacinto political corruption indictment, Byron Jerry Ellison Sr. appears to have the fewest ties to the city — a part-time resident whose home is in Garden Grove. He also has an address in Montana.

But according to affidavits and the 155-count indictment, Ellison, 70, is suspected in 139 counts — 43 felonies and 96 misdemeanors.

Arraignment was postponed to Dec. 4 for Ellison, a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant and onetime investigator for the California secretary of state’s voter fraud investigation unit.

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10:00 PM PST on Thursday, November 26, 2009

By LOU HIRSH
The Press-Enterprise

Special Section: San Jacinto Corruption Probe

Caught in the middle of a sweeping corruption probe involving two of its founders, the San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce has moved to reduce the daily role of Executive Director Nancy Ayres.

On Nov. 12, Riverside County prosecutors indicted Ayres and eight others, including a developer who helped found the chamber. Authorities said they conspired to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars and conceal campaign contributions.

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10:00 PM PST on Monday, November 23, 2009

By DUG BEGLEY and RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

San Jacinto Vice Mayor John R. Mansperger isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and jump into a community project or open his business to firefighters who need a place to train.

City residents call Mansperger, 41, hardworking and a man whose political career has involved advocating for senior citizen housing and improving public safety.

He is also one of nine defendants named in a 155-count indictment that claims four members of the City Council voted favorably for developers in return for either gifts or illegal campaign contributions.

Mansperger was named in 136 counts, including 40 felonies.

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RivPE: Mayor vows to remain, get city’s work done

STUBBLEFIELD: The official says he will finish the last year of his final term.

11:10 PM PST on Monday, November 23, 2009

By DUG BEGLEY and RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

San Jacinto Mayor Dale Stubblefield says he intends to stay in office and fight the political corruption charges he faces, insisting that development decisions made by the City Council he sits on were appropriate.

When he ran for re-election in 2006, Stubblefield called for responsible growth in the city. The city’s general plan was adopted during his first term, and three major commercial developments were approved, including a Walmart Supercenter.

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RivPE: Sole unindicted San Jacinto councilman looks ahead, not back

10:41 PM PST on Sunday, November 22, 2009

By GAIL WESSON
The Press-Enterprise

It took three times on the ballot for Steve Di Memmo to get elected to the San Jacinto City Council, and now, after almost a year in the post, some are calling him the last man standing.

The city’s four other councilmen have been indicted in a sweeping corruption probe. Di Memmo says they should resign in the best interest of the city.

The Nov. 12 corruption indictment accuses the four councilmen and five others of laundering tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money as well as tax fraud, bribery, perjury and filing false government documents.

Di Memmo won’t comment on specifics of the allegations but he issued a statement the day after the indictments were issued:

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RivPE: Votes of indicted San Jacinto councilman Ayers benefited donors

10:51 PM PST on Saturday, November 21, 2009

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Two of the developers at the center of a corruption investigation in San Jacinto funneled more than $190,000 into the campaign accounts of Councilman Jim Ayres, prosecutors contend.

At the same time, Ayres repeatedly voted to approve projects favorable to the two businessmen, according to court documents and a review of city records.

He didn’t abstain from voting on the developers’ projects until a month after authorities first searched his home as part of their investigation.

It’s illegal for elected officials to vote on matters in which they have a financial stake. Votes benefiting major contributors, while not always improper, often raise questions about perceived conflicts of interest.

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