Archive for the ‘ State Superior Court ’ Category

Former San Bernardino County Assessor and former county supervisor Bill Postmus listens to his attorney Jeffrey Lawrence (not pictured) during a sentencing and motion hearing at the San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino on Friday, November 2, 2018. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: November 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Updated: November 4, 2018 at 9:07 am

The battle by former San Bernardino County assessor Bill Postmus to rescind his guilty plea in the Colonies corruption case began Friday with Postmus testifying he was a drug addict when he was coerced into accepting a deal with prosecutors.

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Scott Schwebke | sschwebke@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: July 27, 2018 at 10:22 am | Updated: July 27, 2018 at 11:00 am

Pornographic images of an underage Redlands High School student, seized from teacher Kevin Kirkland, were never examined by police before prosecutors negotiated a plea deal that allowed him to go free the day he was sentenced for sexually abusing four students, the Southern California News Group has learned.

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Highland Community News: Judge rules for and against Harmony plans

By James Folmer
Editor Highland Community News
July 11, 2018

Harmony Specific Plan

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Donald Alvarez has issued two rulings on the proposed Harmony master-planned community in east Highland.

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In late June a judge in two cases ruled against the proposed 3,600-house Harmony Development saying the city improperly defined the project and failed to properly analyze or mitigate downstream flooding impacts, and more.

By Jennifer Iyer | jiyer@scng.com | Redlands Daily Facts
Published: July 6, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Updated: July 6, 2018 at 6:35 pm

A judge has ruled against Highland’s proposed 3,600-house Harmony development, partially siding with environmental and community groups that opposed the massive project in two related lawsuits.

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InlandPolitics: Central lawyer in Colonies litigation wins $10 million verdict

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 – 08:30 a.m.

It seems that well-know Los Angeles Attorney Stephen Larson, a former U.S. District Court Judge, who has made a name for himself in intellectual property and criminal white collar cases, has expanded his legal field of expertise.

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The Press-Enterprise: Riverside judge overturns California’s right-to-die law

Stephen G. Larson, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the law should be overturned because it was improperly rushed through a special session of the legislature under “extraordinary circumstances.”

By Deepa Bharath | dbharath@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: May 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm | UpdatedD: May 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm

RIVERSIDE — A judge in Riverside County granted a motion Tuesday to overturn the state’s End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill Californians to end their life, legally, with a lethal drug.

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: April 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Updated: April 28, 2018 at 12:21 am

Sentencing for former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus was delayed again Friday after his attorney filed a motion to withdraw Postmus’ 2011 guilty plea to corruption charges, claiming Postmus was addicted to drugs, under duress and coerced by investigators.

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For the fifth time in eight years, a Redlands Unified School District employee has been accused of sexually abusing students.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: April 17, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Updated: April 18, 2018 at 8:56 am

The Redlands Unified School District on Tuesday was slapped with another sexual abuse lawsuit alleging a former Redlands High School theater technician had an intimate three-year relationship with a female student beginning when she was 15 years old.

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New Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez speaks after a ceremonial swearing-in at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.(Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
April 10, 2018 at 7:49 pm

A Riverside County supervisor must tell voters he was appointed, not elected, to his job, a county judge ruled Monday in a decision that figures to tweak the June 5 ballot.

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California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who on Tuesday called for an immediate change to court rules that would allow records of sexual harassment and discrimination settlements in the state judiciary to become public. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

Greg Moran
Tuesday, April 11, 2018 – 3:15 p.m.

The leader of the state judiciary said Tuesday she wants immediate changes to court rules that now shield information about sexual harassment payouts to judges that would make such information public for the first time.

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The Sun: Critics of plan to bring 3,600 homes to Highland area head to court

By Jennifer Iyer | jiyer@scng.com | Redlands Daily Facts
March 31, 2018 at 10:00 am

Opponents of the large-scale Harmony housing development are expected to make their case against the project in court this week. A hearing is set for Friday, April 6.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Judge passes away

Monday, February 19, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Vic Stull.

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By Imran Ghori | ighori@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 9, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Updated: February 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

A Riverside County judge has sided with critics of the planned World Logistics Center in ruling that an environmental study for the project was flawed.

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The Sun: Judge dismisses all perjury charges against High Desert developer John Dino

John “Dino” Defazio stands charged with six felony counts of perjury in connection with his 2009 grand jury testimony in the Colonies public corruption case, which ended in acquittal in August for three of the defendants and dismissal of all charges in September against a fourth defendant.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 26, 2018 at 11:14 am | Updated: January 26, 2018 at 4:03 pm

A San Bernardino Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed all six felony perjury charges against High Desert developer John Dino DeFazio, a figure in the Colonies corruption case who was accused of lying to the grand jury.

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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.

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 16, 2018 at 7:00 am | Updated: January 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Victims of former Redlands High School teacher and convicted sex offender Kevin Kirkland were “negligent” and partly to blame for what happened to them, the Redlands Unified School District said in a court document.

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The Sun: Beaumont corruption probe prosecutors argue against dropping charges

By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
January 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

The final defendant in the Beaumont corruption case “expressly and unmistakably” surrendered his right to a speedy preliminary hearing, and a claim that he was denied a chance to see the evidence against him is “clearly contrived,” prosecutors said Wednesday as they asked a judge to deny his motion for dismissal.

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By Richard K. De Atley |
Published: January 9, 2018 at 10:32 am | Updated: January 10, 2018 at 6:12 am

The last defendant in the Beaumont corruption case wants a judge to throw his charges out, saying he was wrongly denied a speedy preliminary hearing and that prosecutors have dragged their feet in producing evidence.

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The Grapevine: Op-Ed: The Colonies Trial and the forgotten man

Rex Gutierrez
Monday, January 1, 05:00 p.m.

The seven-year Colonies “Trial of the Century” is over. San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos, with then-Attorney General Jerry Brown at his side, proclaimed that this was the biggest public corruption scandal in the history of the county and the state of California. Surely this was the impetus that would propel Ramos to statewide, and possibly national office!

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The Sun: Colonies trial witness Adam Aleman sentenced to 6 months in jail

San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman (left), who pleaded guilty in 2009 to multiple felonies in connection with corruption at the Assessor’s Office, was sentenced to 180 days in jail Friday December 1, 2017 during a sentencing hearing at the San Bernardino Justice Center as his attorney Grover Porter (right) stand beside him. Aleman became a key witness the Colonies public corruption case in which all four defendants were either acquitted or had their charges dismissed. Aleman will turn himself into authorities to begin his sentence no later than January 24. (Will Lester-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: December 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Updated: December 2, 2017 at 1:07 am

Former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman, a key figure in corruption scandals involving the Assessor’s Office and a controversial legal settlement between the county and a land developer, was sentenced Friday to six months in jail.

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The Sun: Postmus case referred to Riverside County Probation Department for review

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: October 27, 2017 at 9:25 am |
Updated:   October 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm

A San Bernardino Superior Court judge on Friday referred the case of former San Bernardino County Assessor and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus to the Riverside County Probation Department for review and sentencing recommendations.

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The Sun: Colonies corruption case more than a boondoggle

Developer Jeff Burum, center, and his attorneys Jennifer Keller and Stephen Larson react as Burum is found not guilty of all charges in the Colonies corruption case verdict hearing at San Bernardino Superior Court in San Bernardino Aug. 28, 2017. (Photo by Rachel Luna, Southern California News Group)

Opinion

By Neil Derry |
Published: October 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm |
Updated:    October 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

The Colonies “corruption” case is over. Well, at least the eight year criminal case is finally over. There is plenty of time and even more justification for more civil litigation against the State of California and the County of San Bernardino, but that is for another day.

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Pictured L-R: Jeff Burum, Mark Kirk, Jim Erwin, and Paul Biane. (File photo)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: September 30, 2017 at 11:51 am |
Updated:   September 30, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Eight years, six months, and seven days. That’s how long Jim Erwin said he endured allegations by state and local prosecutors of taking part in a bribery scheme that bilked San Bernardino County taxpayers out of $102 million.

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The Sun: Opinion: How did Colonies case go so wrong?

From left, attorney Jennifer Keller, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin and developer Jeff Burum applaud the jury for their service after Burum, Supervisor Paul Biane and Mark Kirk were found not guilty of all charges in the Colonies corruption case verdict hearing at San Bernardino Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

By The Editorial Board | opinion@langnews.com |
September 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

Now that the long-running Colonies case has finally ended with all defendants acquitted, county taxpayers wouldn’t be wrong to wonder just what the heck actually happened.

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Attorneys Stephen Larson, (L), and Rajan Maline congratulate Jim Erwin, after hearing he will not be re-tried on any charges regarding the Colonies corruption case, Friday, at San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino, Ca., September 22, 2017. Judge Michael A. Smith dismissed all of the remaining counts against the former assistant county assessor and sheriff’s labor union president. (John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com and Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: September 22, 2017 at 9:19 am |
Updated:   September 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

SAN BERNARDINO >> The judge in the San Bernardino County Colonies corruption case on Friday dismissed all charges against the only remaining defendant, Jim Erwin, after prosecutors announced they did not want to retry the case.

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The Sun: Unwarranted charges, allegations in Colonies case: Christopher J. Warner

Developer Jeff Burum waits for his verdict to be read in the Colonies corruption case at San Bernardino Superior Court in San Bernardino, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Defendants Burum and two former county officials — Supervisor Paul Biane and Mark Kirk — were found not guilty of all charges after a marathon trial that has lasted nearly eight months. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

Opinion

By Christopher J. Warner |
Published: September 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Updated: September 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm

“The largest public corruption case in the state of California” has ended in San Bernardino County. That’s what then-Attorney General Jerry Brown, standing next to District Attorney Michael Ramos, called it way back when they filed it.

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KCBS-TV: Colonies Corruption Trial: Jury hands down acquittals

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Here’s the coverage by KCBS-TV Los Angeles of the “not guilty” verdicts in the Colonies Corruption Trial.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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California Supreme Court

Howard Blume and Joy Resmovits
August 23, 2016

Monday was the end of the line for a landmark California case challenging tenure and other traditional job protections for teachers — and the teachers won.

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The Sun: All seven former Beaumont officials plead not guilty in corruption case

Beaumont Corruption Case

The seven defendants in the Beaumont political corruption case, in the front row are Francis Dennis Coe Jr., Joseph Sandy Aklufi, William Kevin Aylward, Ernest Alois Egger, Deepak Moorjani, David Willliam Dillon, and Alan Charles Kapanicas, left to right, in the back row are attorneys Melissa Meister, James Taylor and Virginia Blumenthal, left to right, prior court proceedings in Dept. 52 of Riverside Superior Court on Friday. (Kurt Miller – Staff Photographer)

By David Danelski and and Gail Wesson, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 08/19/16 – 11:20 PM PDT |

The seven former Beaumont city officials charged in May with 94 felony corruption counts, including embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, each pleaded not guilty to all charges against them Friday.

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Moreno Valley seal

Foes tried to stop the developer and city from using initiatives to legally protect the project.

By Imran Ghori / Staff Writer
Published: Aug. 18, 2016 – Updated: 8:55 p.m.

A judge has denied a request by opponents of the World Logistics Center to block two initiatives aimed at shielding the 40.6 million-square-foot warehouse complex from legal challenges.

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Judge Thomas M. Goethals speaks and agrees to continue Steven Bruno's sentencing on Thursday to January 23 in Santa Ana. Bruno was found guilty for the murder of his father to Ernest Bruno by an Orange County Superior Court jury. ////ADDITIONAL INFO: - 05.IRVfathermurdersentence.1218.ks - Day: Thursday - Date: 12/18/14 - Time: 9:34:45 AM - Original file name: _KSB3279.NEF - KEN STEINHARDT, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -- Bruno’s attorney Leonard Matsuk - Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera

Judge Thomas M. Goethals during a 2014 case. (Ken Steinhardt / Staff Photographer)

By Sean Emery / Staff Writer
Aug. 17, 2016 – Updated 10:08 p.m.

SANTA ANA – An Orange County judge offered to remove himself from a murder trial Wednesday, only to learn that attorneys on both sides want him to stay on a case that involves allegations of prosecutors falsifying evidence.

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Judge Thomas Goethals discusses the admissibility of previously sealed court documents related to an alleged jailhouse informant who may have assisted in the conviction of Henry Rodriguez, who has spent 15 years in prison for his role in the 1998 murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: RODRIGUEZ.0626 - 6/25/15 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - Henry Rodriguez, who has spent 15 years in prison for his role in the 1998 murder of a pregnant woman and her unborn child, appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom with his attorney, James Crawford, and deputy district attorneys Howard Gundy and Eric Scarbrough on Thursday to discuss alleged misuse of jailhouse informants by Orange County prosecutors in his case. Judge Thomas Goethals' decision could lead to a new trial or the outright prisoner release. Picture made at The Orange County Central Justice Center, department C45, in Santa Ana, California, on Thursday, June 25, 2015

Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals has cracked down on misuse of jailhouse informants. He threw a curve Monday to lawyers seeking removal of the District Attorney’s Office from a murder case following allegations of falsifying and withholding evidence. As he postponed the hearing until Wednesday, Goethals urged attorneys on both sides to consider an argument as to why he should or shouldn’t be removed from the case. (Joshua Sudock / File)

By Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Aug. 15, 2016
Updated Aug. 16, 2016 – 7:25 a.m.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals threw a curve Monday to lawyers seeking removal of the District Attorney’s Office from a murder case following allegations of falsifying and withholding evidence.

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Courts

By Cassie MacDuff, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 08/14/16 – 2:11 PM PDT |

Baffling. That’s all that can be said about the state Senate Appropriations Committee killing a bill last week that would have addressed a critical shortage of judges in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

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USC Trojans Football

The USC Trojans take the field for a 2014 game against Notre Dame at the Coliseum. (Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo)

Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II
August 6, 2016

The alleged bribes and kickbacks that prosecutors said flowed like honey between government officials at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and people who did business at the venerable stadium exceeded $2 million — cash that belonged to the taxpayers.

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Courts

Rong-Gong Lin II, Paul Pringle and Marisa Gerber
August 4, 2016

Two concert promoters accused in a bribery-and-embezzlement scheme involving raves at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will avoid serving any jail time under a plea bargain with prosecutors who acknowledged, for the second time, that they mishandled evidence in the high-profile corruption case.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff

In narrative rejected by county, whistleblower complaint alleges corruption, retaliation

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Aug. 1, 2016 at 3:15 PM
Updated Aug 1, 2016 at 5:44 PM

Three current or former deputies who say they were rebuked for disclosing an alleged impound and ticket quota scheme entrenched within two High Desert sheriff’s stations will have their days in court.

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Courts

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 – 10:00 a.m.

A civil lawsuit filed by current and former deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will advance to trial.

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ACLU

By Tony Saavedras, Staff Writer
July 22, 2016

The American Civil Liberties Union sent volunteer watchers into local courtrooms Friday, a move aimed at bringing attention to what the civil rights group describes as routine cheating by prosecutors in Orange County.

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EVWD

By Jim Steinberg, The Sun
Posted: 07/20/16 – 12:16 AM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The sewage treatment plant proposed by the Highland-based East Valley Water District will cost at least $150 million more to build that has been planned, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department officials say.

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