Archive for the ‘ Courts ’ Category

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and his office is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the California Attorney General’s Office for allegations that prosecutors and police developed a network of jailhouse informants to illegally garner confessions from inmates. (File photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

By Tony Saavedra, Orange County Register
Posted: 07/29/17 – 12:52 PM PDT |

The gavels had fallen, the cases appeared closed:

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The defense rested on Monday in a seven-month corruption trial after only half a day, opting to call no witnesses and close their case before lunch on the same day they opened it after reading a few stipulated facts from earlier testimony.

Andy Serbe, Staff Writer
Daily Journal
andy_serbe@dailyjournal.com

PDF Format: 2017 0718 Daily Journal

July 18, 2017

The defense called no witnesses as it rested its case Monday in a seven-month San Bernardino County corruption trial, opting to read to the jury a few stipulated facts from earlier testimony and close before lunch.

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From left, developer Jeff Burum, Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt. former assistant assessor Jim Erwin and former supervisor Paul Biane appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court in Colonies bribery case. File photo. (David Bauman/The Press-Enterprise)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 07/17/17 – 12:02 PM PDT |

Defense attorneys in the San Bernardino County Colonies bribery case rested Monday after about one hour of presentation, setting the stage for final arguments in mid-August.

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The Sun: Marathon Colonies corruption trial nearing end after 7 months

From left, developer Jeff Burum, Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt, former assistant assessor Jim Erwin and former supervisor Paul Biane appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court in this file photo during the Colonies corruption trial.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 07/15/17 – 4:29 PM PDT |

Called “the biggest public corruption case in San Bernardino County history” when it was filed in 2010, the marathon Colonies case nears an end after seven months of trial, with defense attorneys saying bribery wasn’t proven while prosecutors say nothing can erase years of dirty dealing.

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The Sun: Forgery charge dropped for Jim Erwin in Colonies corruption trial

James Erwin, is the former chief of staff for county Supervisor Neil Derry and a former assistant assessor for San Bernardino county. (Courtesy photo to The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 07/06/17 – 4:07 PM PDT |

The judge in San Bernardino County’s Colonies corruption case on Thursday dismissed a felony charge of forgery against former assistant assessor Jim Erwin, one of four defendants fighting to have their charges tossed on grounds of insufficient evidence.

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The Sun: Bribery charge dismissed against Mark Kirk in Colonies corruption case

Mark Kirk, the former chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt (Staff file photo by Rick Sforza, The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 07/05/17 – 7:46 PM PDT |

A bribery charge in the San Bernardino County Colonies public corruption case was dismissed Wednesday against Mark Kirk, the one-time chief of staff for former county Supervisor Gary Ovitt in 2006 when supervisors approved a $102 million settlement favorable to the land developer.

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Colonies bribery trial defendants and their attorneys gather outside a courtroom in San Bernardino Superior Court during a recess. File photo. (Photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 06/29/17 – 12:13 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> After nearly seven months of sometimes confounding testimony, the prosecution rested this week in San Bernardino County’s Colonies bribery case.

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“Ted Viera’s” LinkedIn profile. “Viera” is the maiden name of former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt’s mother. In September 2007, Honeycutt and C. Steven Cox, the founder of California Charter Academies, were indicted on 117 felony charges related to $5.5 million in taxpayer funds the pair allegedly mishandled. Five years later, Honeycutt went back into the education business, using the name “Ted Viera.” The Viera LinkedIn page was shut down Friday afternoon. (Screenshot)

By Beau Yarbrough, The Sun
Posted: 06/09/17 – 5:48 PM PDT |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Five years after he was indicted on 34 charges related to the failure of the largest chain of charter schools in California and facing up to 20 years in prison, former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt went back into the education business.

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The Sun: Colonies prosecutor attempts salvaging credibility of key witness

Colonies defendants and their attorneys gather outside of a courtroom in San Bernardino Superior Court during a recess in the Colonies corruption trial. File photo. (Photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 06/08/17 – 5:05 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A prosecutor in the San Bernardino County Colonies bribery case on Thursday attempted to recoup the credibility of key witness Adam Aleman after days of defense attorney battering of the former assistant assessor’s accounts of alleged corruption a decade ago.

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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 06/07/17 – 3:08 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The dismissal of an alternate juror in the Colonies bribery trial on Wednesday did not hinder testimony, in which defense attorneys continued drilling key witness Adam Aleman on his honesty and credibility.

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The Sun: Colonies key witness begins fifth day of testimony in San Bernardino

Attorneys Stephen Larson, middle, and Jennifer Keller, left, discuss their case with defendant Jeff Burum, one of four defendants currently on trial in the Colonies corruption case in San Bernardino. File photo.(Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 06/01/17 – 3:45 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Defense attorneys in the Colonies bribery trial on Thursday attacked the credibility and character of key witness and former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman, claiming he was shaping his statements to conform to the prosecution narrative of the case and “making things up as he went along.”

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The Sun: Credibility of key witness in Colonies trial challenged

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/31/17 – 9:10 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A defense attorney on Wednesday continued challenging the credibility of former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman on claims he heard and saw details that pointed to bribery in settling a $102 million lawsuit between the county and developer Colonies Partners in 2006.

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The Sun: Defense attorney grills key Colonies trial witness on his dishonesty

Colonies trial defendants and their attorneys gather outside of a courtroom in San Bernardino Superior Court. File photo. (Photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/30/17 – 7:17 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A defense attorney in the Colonies corruption trial on Tuesday grilled former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman on his repeated lies to district attorney investigators and a civil grand jury investigating allegations of malfeasance at the Assessor’s Office in 2008.

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Capitol Weekly: Overhaul urged for California court fines

By John Howard
Posted 05.26.2017

California’s courts impose hundreds of millions of dollars of “excessive and disproportionate” fines each year for common infractions, then use much of the money to support their own operations. A blue-ribbon panel examining the system said the fines should be collected by the executive branch — not the courts themselves — to avoid conflicts.

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Maya Lau
May 24, 2017 – 12:45 p.m.

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies say they were framed for lying about a drug bust and that prosecutors knowingly withheld evidence that would have spared them a trial, lost wages and public humiliation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

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By Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/22/17 – 5:41 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman told jurors Monday in the Colonies bribery trial that, like his former boss Bill Postmus, he was testifying under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

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A federal judge has raised issues with a proposed $142-million settlement between Wells Fargo and customers over the creation of unauthorized bank accounts.

James Rufus Koren
May 17, 2017

A San Francisco federal judge is leaning toward rejecting some of the terms of a $142-million settlement aimed at ending a bevvy of class-action lawsuits against Wells Fargo & Co. over its sham accounts scandal.

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

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/16/17 – 1:55 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Former San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus testified Tuesday in the Colonies corruption trial that he never thought a $102 million settlement favorable to a Rancho Cucamonga developer 11 years ago would result in kickback money to him — a statement that goes to the heart of the six-year-old case.

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The Sun: Former county Supervisor Postmus’ memory at issue at Colonies trial

Colonies defendants and their attorneys gather outside of a courtroom during a recess in San Bernardino Superior Court. File photo. (Photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/11/17 – 9:02 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A prosecutor in the Colonies corruption case on Thursday walked former county Supervisor Bill Postmus through his 2011 statements that helped bring charges in the bribery trial, but Postmus appeared to be putting distance between himself and what he told authorities six years ago.

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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/11/17 – 10:27 AM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The judge in the Colonies corruption trial on Thursday dismissed two felony charges against former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin after an appellate court determined that the offenses could only be charged as misdemeanors.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has been sentenced to three years in prison, marking an end to a corruption scandal that has roiled the Sheriff’s Department for several years.

Joel Rubin
May 12, 2017

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, once a towering, respected figure in policing, was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to obstruct an FBI investigation of abuses in county jails, marking an end to a corruption scandal that has roiled the Sheriff’s Department for several years.

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Rancho Cucamonga-based developer Jeff Burum, left, speaks with his attorney Stephen Larson in the hallway at the San Bernardino Superior Court during a recess of the Colonies corruption case. File photo. (Micah Escamilla/San Bernardino Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
and Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 05/10/17 – 7:43 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Colonies trial defendant Jim Erwin, depicted by prosecutors as scheming against former San Bernardino County Supervisor and Assessor Bill Postmus more than a decade ago, actually stood beside the beleaguered politician with “tough love” as Postmus struggled with his drug addiction, Postmus agreed in testimony Wednesday.

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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.

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By Bob Egelko
May 2, 2017 Updated: May 2, 2017 2:43pm

Prosecutors who withhold evidence that might have helped a criminal defendant will soon face the prospect of punishment by the State Bar of California, under rules already in place in every other state.

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Calpensions: Another court setback for protectors of pensions

Ed Mendel
April 17, 2016

In another ruling allowing pension cuts, an appeals court last week overturned a state labor board ruling that a voter-approved San Diego pension reform was invalid because the city declined to bargain the issue with labor unions.

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Developer Jeff Burum, left, speaks with his attorney Stephen Larson in a hallway at the San Bernardino Superior Court. File photo. (Micah Escamilla/San Bernardino Sun)

By Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/06/17 – 2:06 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A veteran San Bernardino County attorney who had opposed the $102 million settlement with Colonies Partners LP in 2006 told a defense attorney Thursday in court that he had changed his mind by 2009 and thought it was “objectively reasonable.”

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Chris Megerian
April 6, 2017, – 2:03 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento—

California’s controversial cap-and-trade program, a cornerstone of the state’s battle against climate change, has been upheld by a state appeals court.

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The Sun: Two deputies take plea deal in Apple Valley beating caught on video

Three San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, from the left, Nicholas Downey, Charles Foster and Michael Phelps, were charged in the April 9, 2015 beating of Apple Valley resident Francis Jared Pusok following a nearly three-hour pursuit in the High Desert. (File Photos by Micah Escamilla – Staff Photographer)

By Doug Saunders, The Sun
and Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 04/03/17 – 3:38 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Two former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies accused in the beating of an Apple Valley man that was captured on live television each pleaded no contest Monday to a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace as part of a plea deal.

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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/30/17 – 4:32 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> One of three former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies accused of assaulting an Apple Valley man following a chase through the High Desert two years ago was found guilty Thursday in Superior Court, while a mistrial was declared for the other two defendants.

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Three San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, from the left, Nicholas Downey, Charles Foster and Michael Phelps, have been charged in the April 9, 2015 beating of Apple Valley resident Francis Jared Pusok following a nearly three-hour pursuit in the High Desert. (Micah Escamilla – Staff Photographer)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/28/17 – 6:05 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Closing arguments concluded and the jury began deliberating Tuesday in the trial of three San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies charged with assaulting an Apple Valley man after a lengthy pursuit in the High Desert nearly two years ago.

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By Louis Casiano Jr. / Staff Writer
March 17, 2017

SANTA ANA – A private detective who admitted he tried to set up a Costa Mesa councilman for a false DUI and tailed the city’s former mayor using a tracking device was sentenced by an Orange County Superior Court judge Friday to one year in jail.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and attorney Nathan Hochman are seen outside the U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles on Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 03/09/17 – 12:22 PM PST |

After almost two weeks of testimony by more than a dozen witnesses, the prosecution and defense rested their cases Thursday in the federal jail corruption re-trial of former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
March 8, 2017 – 5:37 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown will have another opportunity to shape the state’s highest court after Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar announced Tuesday her plans to retire later this year.

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Associated Press: Court: Officials’ emails on private accounts are public

By Sudhin Thanawala
March 03, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Government employees in California cannot keep the public from seeing their work-related emails and texts sent on personal devices and through private accounts, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday, closing a loophole that justices said could have allowed the “most sensitive and potentially damning” communications to be shielded.

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Attorney Michael Schwartz, left, joins San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputies Michael Phelps, 29, Nicholas Downey, 33, and Charles Foster, 34, all three of whom have been charged with felony assault by a public officer against Francis Jared Pusok, stand in court during an arraignment September 8, 2015 at San Bernardino Superior Court. (File)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/02/17 – 10:19 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Three San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were looking to get some “cheap shots” when they allegedly assaulted an Apple Valley man following a nearly three-hour chase, a prosecutor said during his opening statement Thursday at the deputies’ trial.

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The Sun: Attorneys file notice to appeal San Bernardino bankruptcy confirmation

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 02/23/17 – 5:47 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Three alleged victims of police beatings whose judgments would be reduced by 99 percent under the terms of the bankruptcy plan approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury have filed notice that they will appeal that ruling.

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Maya Lau
February 20, 2017

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has collected the names of about 300 deputies who have a history of past misconduct — such as domestic violence, theft, bribery and brutality — that could damage their credibility if they testify in court.

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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 6, 2017 – 2:53 PM

Whenever the U.S. Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch – or some other Donald Trump nominee – to the U.S. Supreme Court, it will face a plethora of issues, and those involving California will be among the most controversial.

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Rick Anderson and Jaweed Kaleem
Feb. 3, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

A federal judge in Seattle has temporarily blocked President Trump’s order to halt immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

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Reuters: Judge confirms San Bernardino, California’s plan to exit bankruptcy

By Jim Christie | San Francisco
U.S. | Fri Jan 27, 2017 | 6:36pm EST

San Bernardino, California, won final court approval on Friday for its financial restructuring plan, clearing the way for the city to wrap up the bankruptcy case it launched more than four years ago when its leaders learned it was facing insolvency.

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Paloma Esquivel
January 14, 2017

Ten Southern California journalists are fighting an effort by prosecutors to compel them to testify in the San Bernardino County corruption trials of a developer, a former supervisor and other former county officials.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, center, leaves federal court, where prosecutors announced they will retry him on charges of obstructing an FBI investigation. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Joel Rubin
January 10, 2017

Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that they will retry former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca following a recent mistrial in which a jury nearly cleared him of obstructing an FBI investigation into the county’s jails.

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In this file photo, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca arrives at federal court in Los Angeles to appear before a judge after a plea deal had been denied. Aug. 1, 2016 (Photo by David Crane Southern California News Group)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 01/09/17 – 4:09 PM PST |

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is expected to be back in federal court Tuesday to determine if he’ll stand trial on three pending charges that stem from a jail corruption and inmate abuse scandal.

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Roll Call: Schumer Prepared to Hold Supreme Court Seat Open

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer lamented a previous rule change by Senate Democrats which allows a president’s Cabinet picks to be approved by a simple majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bridget Bowman
Posted Jan 3, 2017 – 10:13 PM

  • Minority leader says Democrats will push for ‘mainstream’ nominee

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is preparing to block President-elect Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee if he or she is not in the “mainstream.”

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InlandPolitics: Services set for San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 – 07:00 p.m.

Funeral Services have been set for San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Brian Saunders, who passed away unexpectedly last week.

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California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, seen in January, wrote the 4-3 ruling that said a government agency’s legal bills are generally public record in cases that have been resolved. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Maura Dolan
December 30, 2016

A government agency’s legal bills for a case that has been resolved are generally public record, a divided California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse earlier this week after his obstruction case ended in a mistrial, with jurors hopelessly deadlocked. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Joel Rubin and Victoria Kim
December 24, 2016

The team of federal prosecutors was on a roll.

For nearly five years, the Public Corruption and Civil Rights section of the U.S. attorney’s office had been building and winning cases against a group from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accused of carrying out a plan to obstruct a federal investigation into allegations of inmate abuse at the county jails.

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By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/22/16 – 2:43 PM PST |

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca walked out of federal court Thursday almost a free man after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked and a judge declared a mistrial in his jail corruption trial.

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The Sacramento Bee: California Supreme Court blocks new law to speed up death penalty

Voters passed Proposition 66, a ballot measure that aims to speed up the death penalty. No one has been executed in California since 2006 because of legal challenges to the lethal injection protocol. (Manny Crisostomo/Sacramento Bee file)

By Alexei Koseff
Capitol Alert
akoseff@sacbee.com
December 20, 2016 – 3:04 PM

A new voter-approved law intended to speed up California’s fractured death penalty system will not take effect while a court considers a lawsuit from its opponents.

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Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens speaks in August. (Sam Gangwer/Staff Photographer)

By Kelly Puente and Tony Saavedra / Staff Writers
Published:  Dec. 16, 2016
Updated:     Dec. 17, 2016 – 8:57 a.m.

A judge said Friday that he might find Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in contempt of court because of her department’s reaction to an order to produce documents in the trial of admitted killer Scott Dekraai.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, and his wife, Carol Chiang, leave the United States Court after his arraignment on Friday, August 12, 2016. File photo. (Photo by Dean Musgrove/Los Angeles Daily News)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/15/16 – 6:59 PM PST |

Former Sheriff Lee Baca, who led the largest law enforcement department of its kind in the nation, may take the witness stand in his own defense in an ongoing federal jail corruption trial, his attorney announced Thursday.

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By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/09/16 – 6:09 PM PST |

A jury awarded $110,000 plus undisclosed punitive damages to an Adelanto man shot by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies in a case of mistaken identity, the man’s attorney said Friday.

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Victoria Kim
December 10, 2016

Two ex-Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who have been convicted of obstructing an FBI civil rights investigation into the county jails told a federal jury on Friday that they believed they were following orders from former Sheriff Lee Baca.

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Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and his wife Carol Chiang, arrive on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, for his arraignment at the federal courthouse in Los Angeles. Baca’s trial began Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (File photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/07/16 – 12:22 PM PST | U

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was “the heartbeat of conspiracy” when it came to hiding abuses within Men’s Central Jail, and he did nothing to hold deputies who beat inmates accountable, prosecutors said in federal court Wednesday.

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A federal judge said Tuesday that she would approve San Bernardino’s bankruptcy plan, meaning that the city can begin the process of emerging from four years of bankruptcy. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Paloma Esquivel
December 6, 2016

After four long, painful years, San Bernardino will soon emerge from bankruptcy.

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Judge Thomas Goethals talks with Orange County Sheriff's attorney Elizabeth Pejean in his court in Santa Ana during a hearing in the Scott Dekraai case on Friday, October 28, 2016. (Photo by Ken Steinhardt, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals, shown in October, is hearing the challenge in the Cole Wilkins case. Goethals is also the judge in the Scott Dekraai mass murder case. (Ken Steinhardt/File Photo)

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 3, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 4, 2016 – 8:49 p.m.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, harshly criticized in a recent appellate court ruling for a systemic failure to protect defendants’ rights and under investigation by the state attorney general and the county grand jury, is facing a new legal challenge that could remove it from a second high-profile murder case in less than two years.

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California Supreme Court

Jeff McDonald
November 28, 2016

The California Supreme Court has declined to take up a lawsuit seeking release of dozens of emails to and from the Governor’s Office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

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Calpensions: Supreme Court agrees to rule on its own pensions

California Supreme Court

By Ed Mendel
November 28, 2016

The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges.

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U.S. Supreme Court

By Bob Egelko
Published: November 26, 2016
Updated:   November 26, 2016 – 6:00am

With his first Supreme Court appointment, President-elect Donald Trump will be in a position to deal a severe blow to unions representing government workers, the stronghold of organized labor in the United States.

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Los Angeles Times: California’s top court will review major public pension ruling

California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court will review a case that gave state and local government new authority to reduce public employee pensions.

Maura Dolan
November 22, 2016

The California Supreme Court decided Tuesday to review a ruling that would give state and local governments new authority to cut public employee pensions.

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State Bar of California

Capitol Alert
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
November 18, 2016 – 10:30 AM

Reacting to a legislative stalemate over the State Bar’s future, the California Supreme Court late Thursday authorized the legal profession’s regulatory agency to collect $297 in dues from each state-licensed attorney next year – enough to cover its basic functions but less than it wanted.

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bill-holland

Bill Holland

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted:     Nov 12, 2016 at 12:08 AM
Updated:  Nov 12, 2016 at 3:55 PM

HESPERIA — As a school district police officer here, Mayor Bill Holland fell under his boss’ scrutiny for purportedly destroying evidence while leading the investigation into claims that an Oak Hills High School freshman football player had been subjected to sexual hazing, the Daily Press has learned.

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SBCO

By Stephanie K. Baer, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/20/16 – 9:35 AM PDT |

WEST COVINA >> Councilman Mike Spence pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of a drug Thursday morning.

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The Sacramento Bee: Legislative stalemate on State Bar dues morphs into a new battle

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
October 17, 2016 – 3:13 PM

The state Legislature adjourned on Aug. 31 without passing the annual bill authorizing the State Bar to collect “dues” from the state’s attorneys to finance its operations.

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Los Angeles Daily News: San Bernardino reaches ‘momentous’ bankruptcy hearing

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

United States Bankruptcy Court in Riverside

By Ryan Hagen, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 10/14/16 – 7:38 PM PDT |

RIVERSIDE >> The city of San Bernardino entered the final stage of its bankruptcy case Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, with a confirmation hearing the city and its thousands of creditors have awaited for more than four years.

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The Sun: San Bernardino Superior Court executive officer resigns

San Bernardino County Superior Court

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 10/12/16 – 2:36 AM PDT |

San Bernardino County Superior Court Executive Officer Christina Volkers has resigned, effective Dec. 31, the court announced Tuesday.

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Daily Press: County wins ticket quota suit

sbsd-deputy-grinch

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted:    Oct 11, 2016 at 5:41 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2016 at 6:30 PM

SAN BERNARDINO — A jury sided with the county Tuesday in the whistleblower lawsuit brought by three current or former deputies alleging retaliation for disclosing purported ticket quota and impound schemes within two High Desert sheriff’s stations, court records show.

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Calpensions: Ruling challenges prevailing view of pension law

Pensions

By Ed Mendel
October 10, 2016

Three appeals court justices, citing the alarming view of critics that unaffordable public pensions are headed for the financial cliff, looked for a new way to allow a change in direction and found one.

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Gavel

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Oct. 8, 2016 – Updated 10:56 a.m.

Local public defenders, frustrated by the District Attorney’s practice of barring certain judges from key homicide cases, have taken their argument to the California Supreme Court.

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InlandPolitics: Sheriff ticket quota whistle-blower lawsuit goes to jury

jury_box

Friday, October 7, 2016 – 09:15 a.m.

A nearly month-long trial involving alleged workplace retaliation against three current and former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies has been finally handed to a jury.

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InlandPolitics: Governor Brown signs bill making prosecutorial misconduct a felony

Prosecutorial-Misconduct1

Saturday, October 1, 2016 – 12:00 p.m.

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed bipartisan legislation making prosecutorial misconduct a felony.

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California Charter Academy

By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/30/16, 3:11 PM PDT |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> September 2007 was a long time ago.

That month, Rihanna, Fergie and Jay-Z won big at the 24th MTV Video Music Awards. “The Sopranos,” “30 Rock,” James Spader and Sally Field won at the 59th Emmy Awards. Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic at the 127th Men’s US Open.

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Courts

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 09/30/16 – 3:20 PM PDT |

Prosecutors in San Bernardino County’s Colonies public corruption case were ordered Friday by a Superior Court judge to return some documents and personal items seized by the FBI during a 2011 raid at one of the defendants’ home and business.

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U.S.-District-Court

Joel Rubin
September 28, 2016

A federal judge Wednesday ruled that former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka should not remain out of prison while he appeals his conviction on obstruction of justice charges.

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The Sun: McStay family murder trial conflicts with Colonies corruption trial

charles-merritt

Charles “Chase’ Merritt (File photo)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 09/23/16 – 4:08 PM PDT |

The attorney for McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt told a San Bernardino Superior Court judge Friday he cannot begin trial until he finishes defending another client in a public corruption case, scheduled to begin Oct. 17 and last seven months.

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KNBC-TV: The Grinch Ran a Red Light

Thursday, September 22, 2016 – 08:45 a.m.

Yes. It was bound to happen.

Los Angeles-Based KNBC-TV has picked up coverage of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department ticket quota whistle-blower lawsuit.

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California Supreme Court

Paresh Dave
September 21, 2016

The California Supreme Court agreed to review Yelp’s objection to a decision ordering it to strip the Internet of comments posted about a San Francisco law firm.

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The Sun: Deputy in Grinch costume caught by red-light camera comes up in testimony

sbsd-deputy-grinch

By Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 09/20/16 – 6:55 PM PDT |

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is not commenting on a photo shown in court as part of an ongoing civil trial that a plaintiff says shows a deputy dressed in a Grinch costume intentionally and illegally driving a patrol car through a stoplight in Victorville to prompt a red-light camera to snap a souvenir picture.

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Scales of Justice

By Beatriz Valenzuela, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 09/19/16 – 6:35 PM PDT | U

SAN BERNARDINO >> A San Bernardino County sheriff’s lieutenant testified during a civil whistleblower-retaliation trial Monday he tried to quash a “petty citations war” between two High Desert sheriff’s stations.

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The Sun: Harmony project east of Highland faces new legal challenge

City-of-Highland

By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 09/16/16 – 7:34 PM PDT |

HIGHLAND >> Three public interest groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the city of Highland over its approval of the controversial Harmony housing project.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff

By Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 09/14/16 – 10:15 PM PDT |

A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy testified Wednesday that he was removed from a prestigious motorcycle traffic-enforcement assignment after he criticized what he characterized as a supervisor’s illegal traffic-ticket quota and continued to cite Victorville elected officials, city officials and off-duty deputies over that same supervisor’s objections.

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InlandPolitics: Trial in San Bernardino County Sheriff ticket quota case commences

Scales of Justice

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 – 09:00 a.m.

The long-awaited trial involving a traffic ticket quota system employed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is now underway.

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State Bar of California

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
September 12, 2016 – 9:54 PM

Political and legal wrangling over the fate of the State Bar took another turn Monday.

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Daily Bulletin: Colonies corruption case headed to trial, here’s what you need to know

Scales of Justice

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 09/09/16 – 12:25 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Prosecutors and defense attorneys in San Bernardino County’s biggest public corruption case announced Friday that after years of legal wrangling, they are ready to begin trial.

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Warrant

By Brian Rokos / Staff Writer
Published: Aug. 24, 2016
Updated: Aug. 25, 2016 6:24 a.m.

  • He failed to appear in court when subpoenaed by an attorney challenging a wiretap he approved. He says he believed the court date would be changed.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of former Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach after he did not show up in court Tuesday, Aug. 23, to testify about the approval of a wiretap that prompted authorities to charge a man with possessing illegal drugs.

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