Archive for the ‘ In the News ’ Category

Friday, August 11, 2018 – 08:00 p.m.

What appeared to be a stoic Highland City Council, a majority of which appeared very unhappy, removed their rubber stamp of approval from the massive 3,600-home Harmony Project on Wednesday evening.

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John Dino DeFazio waits in the hallway of San Bernardino County Courthouse on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: August 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Updated: August 3, 2018 at 7:19 am

High Desert real estate developer and former Colonies corruption case figure John Dino Defazio has filed claims against San Bernardino County and District Attorney Mike Ramos seeking $20 million in damages, alleging malicious prosecution for perjury charges that were dismissed by a judge in January.

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Mark Kirk, 36, director, governmental relations, county Office of Legislative Affairs; former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt, listens to testimony during an arraignment hearing in a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom August 19, 2011. (File photo)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: July 30, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Updated: July 31, 2018 at 7:17 am

Vindicated public corruption figure Mark Kirk on Monday sued San Bernardino County and District Attorney Mike Ramos in federal court for $40 million, alleging malicious prosecution in perhaps the biggest and most expensive prosecutorial fiasco in county history.

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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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The FedEx Boeing 757 delivery place will fly by at the second annual Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow, Sat. – Sun., Sept. 30 – Oct. 1., with a practice day Friday, Sept. 29 at Huntington Beach. (Photo courtesy Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow)

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: July 25, 2018 at 7:00 am | Updated: July 25, 2018 at 7:01 am

FedEx Express will begin operating daily cargo flights out of San Bernardino International Airport in October, under terms of a new 10-year agreement.

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San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Michael Scarpello said he was forced to resign Thursday, July 19.

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: July 20, 2018 at 10:46 am | Updated: July 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

The head of the San Bernardino County elections office is out with about 110 days to go until the November election, but not before raising concerns about what he said was the county’s aging voter system, potential cybersecurity issues related to the office’s website and lack of staff.

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Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Taryn Luna
tluna@sacbee.com
Published: July 09, 2018 – 05:16 PM
Updated: July 18, 2018 – 01:26 PM

The California Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in favor of opponents of a plan to divide California into three, saying the measure should not appear on the November ballot.

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By Sandra Emerson | semerson@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: July 14, 2018 at 8:00 am | Updated: July 14, 2018 at 11:04 pm

In response to community protest, the city and an Upland developer have backed off their initial proposal to swap the Cabrillo Park soccer fields for a new sports complex in north Upland.brillo Soccer Fields

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Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. speaks during a press conference at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Jackson, and other civil rights leaders are calling for the disbarment of San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Selyem after his social media rants has put him in the spotlight. (Photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Beau Yarbrough | byarbrough@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: July 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Updated: July 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Thursday for the disbarment of San Bernardino County’s top gang prosecutor over vulgar, racist and sexist comments on social media that targeted, among others, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama and someone shot by police.

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San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos discusses the discriminatory comments posted online by San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Selyem during a press conference in San Bernardino on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Teri Sforza | tsforza@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: July 9, 2018 at 2:58 pm |

SAN BERNARDINO — A top gang prosecutor at the center of a political firestorm over a series of offensive social media posts has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an administrative investigation.

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IE Business Daily: Elitist Cadiz Critic’s Fake News Problem

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July 7, 2018

Critics of the Cadiz Water Project in San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert have spared no bit of innuendo, propaganda, administrative interference, and plain old lies in a flailing effort to stop the project from providing clean, renewable water to 100,000 households in Southern California.

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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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Michael Selyem, the lead hard-core gang prosecutor in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, is under internal investigation for a series of offensive posts on social media accounts that have now been deleted. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/The Sun/SCNG)

By Teri Sforza | tsforza@scng.com and Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: July 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Updated: July 6, 2018 at 6:04 pm

The lead hard-core gang prosecutor in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office is under investigation for a series of offensive rants on social media, triggering demands for his dismissal.

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A rendering of the next phase of San Bernardino’s Arrowhead Grove project shows the affording housing complex from Crestview Avenue. (Rendering courtesy of the city of San Bernardino)

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 28, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Updated: June 28, 2018 at 10:52 pm

San Bernardino received $20 million from the state’s Strategic Growth Council on Thursday, June 28, for the development of affordable housing and market-rate units at Arrowhead Grove, a complex replacing the troubled Waterman Gardens.

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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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Former Citrus Valley High teacher Laura Whitehurst awaits a hearing in 2013 in Superior Court in San Bernardino. Laura Whitehurst was convicted of having sex with several students who attended the Redlands school. She had a baby with one of the students. (Photo by Kurt Miller, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Scott Schwebke | sschwebke@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Updated: June 22, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Joshua Polo earned a visit to the vice principal’s office at Redlands High School when, in a heated squabble with English teacher Laura Whitehurst, he called her a “whore.”

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Scott Schwebke | sschwebke@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Updated: June 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm

A top Redlands Unified School District official attempted to destroy evidence and obstructed the 2013 criminal investigation of a former teacher convicted of sexually abusing students, according to sworn statements and police reports supporting allegations in eight pending lawsuits against the district.

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InlandPolitics: Colonies Developer Burum appears on talk radio KCAA-AM 1050

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – 12:15 a.m.

Rancho Cucamonga Developer Jeff Burum appeared on The Robert Porter radio program, aired on KCAA-AM 1050 at 7 p.m. on Monday evening.

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Highland Community News: Harmony election coming up on Nov. 6

By James Folmer, Editor
Highland Community News
Jun 13, 2018 / Updated Jun 13, 2018

The Highland City Council approved five resolutions Tuesday night to set in motion the Nov. 6 vote on the Harmony housing project and to elect two council members.

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The Sun: Cannabis activist submits 2,800 signatures for Colton ballot initiative

Stephanie Smith helps canvas for signatures, for a San Bernardino ballot initiative, with Alexander Navarrette in the Verdemont neighborhood of San Bernardino, CA., Friday, May 18, 2018. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, The Sun/SCNG)

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Updated: June 14, 2018 at 5:32 pm

A political action committee in Colton led by cannabis activist and real estate developer Stephanie Smith has submitted more than 2,800 signatures from registered voters who favor the regulation and taxation of commercial cannabis in their city, according to the committee’s attorney.

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Jim Erwin smiling during a September court 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 Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 7, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Updated: June 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm

A former county official who escaped conviction in the Colonies corruption case has filed a $25 million federal lawsuit accusing San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and other prosecutors of malicious prosecution, fabricated evidence and retaliation.

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Candidate Jason Anderson, for San Bernardino County District Attorney, celebrates an early lead, as election results started coming in Tuesday, with friends and family at his home in Upland, CA., Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Updated: June 7, 2018 at 12:11 am

After 16 years, San Bernardino County has a new District Attorney – former prosecutor-turned criminal defense attorney Jason Anderson, whose narrow victory over incumbent Mike Ramos in Tuesday’s primary means he will assume office in January.

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Voters in at least three California counties appeared to have rejected district attorney candidates funded by a liberal consortium that includes New York billionaire George Soros and other wealthy political donors. (Francois Mori / Associated Press)

By Abbie VanSickle and Paige St. John
Jun 06, 2018 | 9:55 PM

  • Big spending by George Soros and liberal groups fails to sway D.A. races in California

As they poured millions of dollars into district attorney campaigns, New York billionaire George Soros and other liberal donors seemed poised for victory in California.

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Daily Bulletin: District Attorney Michael Ramos is a roadblock to justice

District Attorney Mike Ramos straightens his tie before a press conference for Operation Desert Guardian on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Operation Desert Guardian, conducted in the High Desert by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, began on Friday, June 2, 2017. Throughout the Operation deputies seized multiple firearms, drugs, and made several arrests in the cities of Victorville, Adelanto, Apple Valley, and Hesperia. (Sarah Alvarado fo The Sun)

Opinion

By Lara Bazelon |
Published: June 1, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Updated: June 2, 2018 at 9:56 pm

On June 5, voters in San Bernardino County will head to the polls and decide whether to re-elect District Attorney Michael Ramos to his fifth term or replace him with challenger Jason Anderson, a former prosecutor in Ramos’ office who specialized in putting away child sex offenders. Anderson has also practiced law as a criminal defense attorney.

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Incumbent San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, left, is in a race with challenger Assemblyman Marc Steinorth.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: May 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Updated: May 25, 2018 at 10:37 am

The race for Second District San Bernardino County Supervisor heated up Tuesday, with candidate and Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, accusing his opponent, incumbent Supervisor Janice Rutherford, of vandalizing about a dozen of his campaign signs.

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Friday, May 18, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.

Another mailer hitting San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos has dropped in voter mailboxes.

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: May 15, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Updates: May 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos calls his challenger in the June 5 primary election a “puppet” — handpicked by his deep-pocketed adversaries he says are trying to “buy his office.”

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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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Bloomberg: California’s Brown Says Cities on Their Own as Pension Tab Rises

By Romy Varghese
May 14, 2018 – 8:30 AM PDT

  • Governor says it’s not up to the state to help localities
  • California lawmakers passed pension overhaul in 2012

As California’s cities flounder under the rising cost of public pensions, they shouldn’t expect the state to extend a hand.

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By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: May 10, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Updated: May 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

A once high-profile criminal case has ended quietly for Scot Spencer, a former airline executive whose 2013 charge of conspiring to steal $175 million in public funds while doing work at San Bernardino International Airport put a spotlight on the facility’s management.

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By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com and Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: May 8, 2018 at 9:20 am |

FBI agents on Tuesday raided Adelanto City Hall and the home of the mayor in a widening corruption probe into the High Desert town’s dealings with marijuana businesses.

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By Bradford Richardson
The Washington Times
Monday, May 7, 2018

The least-watched prime time program on Fox News drew more viewers than its most-watched counterpart on CNN.

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By Joe Garofoli
Published: May 2, 2018
Updated:   May 2, 2018 – 5:51pm

The California Republican Party convention begins Friday in San Diego, and the expectations for the weekend are — if we’re being polite — modest. If we’re being real, they’re lower than dirt.

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Daily Press: Including incumbent Cook, five candidates seek 8th Congressional sea

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Apr 29, 2018 at 8:16 AM

Congressional races throughout California promise to be particularly interesting this year as the state has positioned itself as a key bulwark against the Trump administration.

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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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By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: April 23, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Updated: April 25, 2018 at 12:04 am

Debate over California’s sanctuary state law is accelerating through San Bernardino County this week, with Yucaipa on Monday, April 23, joining Hesperia in formally coming out against the law.

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The Sun: Why an Inland water district board member was fined $36,500

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District board member Gil Navarro (File photo).

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
April 20, 2018 at 7:16 pm

California’s campaign finance watchdog agency has fined an Inland water district official $36,500 for multiple infractions, including failing to close a legal defense fund tied to his fight to serve on two elected bodies at the same time.

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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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Capital Public Radio: Opposition To Immigrant Sanctuary Spreading In California

By Amy Taxin , Associated Press
Sunday, April 15, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

(AP) — More local governments in California are resisting the state’s efforts to resist the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, and political experts see politics at play as Republicans try to fire up voters in a state where the GOP has grown weak.

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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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CALmatters: Bullet train colliding with reality


By Dan Walters | April 11, 2018 | Commentary

Reality may finally be catching up with the vision – or pipedream – of a 200-mile-per-hour train connecting California’s northern and southern regions.

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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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Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum has sued San Bernardino County and the state in federal court alleging malicious prosecution in connection with the ill-fated Colonies bribery case. Burum, who along with two co-defendants were acquitted last August on all charges, is seeking no less than $50 million in damages.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: April 3, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Updated: April 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum has filed a $50 million malicious prosecution lawsuit in federal court against San Bernardino County, District Attorney Mike Ramos and former state Attorneys General Kamala Harris and Jerry Brown.

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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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By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: March 27, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Updated: March 27, 2018 at 5:06 pm

San Bernardino County officials have been mostly subdued after the Colonies bribery case collapsed in acquittals last year — but now a private attorney for the county has attacked Colonies co-managing partner Jeff Burum, saying even a not-guilty verdict for him and his co-defendants “is not a vindication of their conduct.”

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InlandPolitics: KABC AM-790 Interview of Colonies Case Juror now available

Friday, March 23, 2018 – 09:00 p.m.

The Drive Home with Jillian Barberie and John Phillips had the pleasure of interviewing one of the jurors who sat on the Colonies Criminal Case debacle last year.

To hear the interview with Juror Donald Platten click the above link.

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
March 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm

California’s campaign finance watchdog wants to impose $36,500 in fines on a water district board member, in part for not closing a legal defense fund for his unsuccessful fight to serve on two elected bodies at the same time.

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The Sun: Opinion: Prosecutors gone wild: San Bernardino County edition

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.(Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

By John Phillips |
Published: March 21, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Updated: March 21, 2018 at 10:01 pm

For mid-level politicians to move up the political pecking order in a state the size of California, they sometimes need to ride the wave of a big news event all the way to the front page of the paper.

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The Hill: GOP pushes for ‘phase two’ of tax cuts

By Naomi Jagoda – 03/18/18 06:00 AM EDT

Republicans are increasingly talking about “phase two” of tax cuts — including a permanent extension of the new law’s individual tax cuts — in an effort to highlight their signature legislative accomplishment and force Democrats to take tough votes.

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Joshua Stewart
March 15, 2018

After an extended deadline, 16 candidates have completed paperwork to run for an open seat in Congress, held by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, making it the busiest race in the San Diego area.

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By Sean Emery | semery@scng.com and Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: March 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Updated: March 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm

Jurors in a federal civil rights trial have awarded $33.5 million to the family of a man who was shot and killed by a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy during a 2015 encounter at the El Rancho Motel in Barstow.

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
March 12, 2018 at 6:00 am

For the better part of seven years, San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos would not comment publicly about the Colonies corruption case while it was pending.

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Associated Press: California bullet train costs soar to $77B; opening delayed

By Kathleen Ronayne and Jonathan J. Cooper
Associated Press
Mar 9, 6:35 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The projected cost of California’s bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles has jumped to $77 billion and the completion date has been pushed back four years to 2033, according to a business plan released Friday.

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CALmatters: News Analysis: Jeff Sessions comes to California bearing gifts

Gov. Jerry Brown and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra. ( Photo by Laurel Rosenhall for CALmatters)

By Dan Morain | March 7, 2018 |

Most out-of-state politicians come to California to raise money. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions flew into Sacramento bearing a gift, in the form a lawsuit targeting this so-called sanctuary state.

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At the San Diego Central Jail in downtown, two inmates are housed in the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Gary Warth
March 3, 2018 – 06:00 a.m.

Counties throughout the state are holding onto millions of dollars intended for mental health services, a recently released state audit has found.

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San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, center, holds a resolution while posing with Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, and then-Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, during a 2016 ceremony in Sacramento that honored the first responders to the December 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino (Courtesy of Steinorth’s office).

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: March 2, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Updated: March 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Inland Assemblyman Marc Steinorth has decided not to seek re-election, a decision that could affect the balance of power in Sacramento and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

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Vindicated Colonies corruption case figure Jim Erwin has formed a political action committee with former co-defendant Mark Kirk to back District Attorney Mike Ramos’s challenger, Jason Anderson, and other “good government” political candidates.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: March 1, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Updated: March 1, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Vindicated Colonies corruption case defendants Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk have formed a political action committee to support “good government” candidates, including the challenger to incumbent District Attorney Michael A. Ramos, former prosecutor-turned-defense attorney Jason Anderson.

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Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: March 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Updated: March 1, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Rancho Cucamonga investor group Colonies Partners LP on Thursday, March 1, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos and former state Attorneys General Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris, seeking $80 million in damages following a bungled bribery case the developer claims sullied its reputation.

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The Sun: Switching parties again, Joe Baca wants back in Congress

Former Inland congressman Joe Baca speaks at a 31st Congressional District candidate forum in this 2013 file photo (File photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG).

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 27, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Another election year, another comeback attempt for former Inland Rep. Joe Baca.

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos at his office in San Bernardino, Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Ramos, who served since 2002, is seeking re-election. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 24, 2018 at 8:00 am

Seeking his fifth term as San Bernardino County’s top prosecutor, District Attorney Michael A. Ramos is facing two challengers in this year’s election race.

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By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 19, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Updated: February 19, 2018 at 7:10 pm

The union representing Riverside County sheriff’s deputies has given at least $554,000 in direct and in-kind contributions to one of three candidates in the 2018 sheriff’s race, campaign finance records show.

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Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia in 2016. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

By Matier & Ross
Published: February 17, 2018
Updated:   February 18, 2018 6:00am

The latest sex-harassment scandal in the state Legislature took an interesting turn the other day when four of state Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s former staffers alleged that she “spoke graphically” about having sex with other lawmakers in their offices.

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CALmatters: Commentary: Proposition 13 turns 40, may face mid-life crisis



By Dan Walters | Feb. 18, 2018 | COMMENTARY

This year is the 40th anniversary of Proposition 13, the iconic property tax limit measure that California voters overwhelmingly endorsed in 1978.

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By John Wildermuth
Published: February 16, 2018
Updated:   February 17, 2018 – 8:41am

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose Butte County seat is considered among the safest Republican strongholds in the state, faces a long-shot opponent who has out-raised him for the campaign.

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Fourth-quarter apartment rents averaged $1,883 a month in Los Angeles County and $1,871 a month in Orange County, market tracker Reis Inc. reported recently. Rents in the region increased between 3 percent and 5.5 percent last year.

By Jeff Collins | JeffCollins@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: February 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Updated: February 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

A $300 rent hike threw Noemi Hernandez’ finances into a tizzy in 2016, forcing the part-time cashier to apply for food stamps and curtail spending on other things. A year later, her rent went up another $160.

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By Paul Rogers | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com
Leigh Poitinger | lpoitinger@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
Published:  February 14, 2018 at 6:00 am
Updated:    February 14, 2018 at 2:58 pm

As California suffers through another dry winter, increasing fears that drought conditions may be returning, the state’s residents are dropping conservation habits that were developed during the last drought and steadily increasing their water use with each passing month.

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State income tax revenues for January totaled $16.34 billion, which was $2.53 billion higher than expected.

By Kathleen Pender
Published: February 13, 2018
Updated: February 13, 2018 – 4:00pm

California’s tax revenues far exceeded expectations in January for the second consecutive month, but it remains to be seen how much of the excess reflects underlying strength in the economy, versus people speeding up their 2017 state income tax payments while they were still fully deductible on federal tax returns.

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Business Wire: Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. to Acquire Grandpoint Capital, Inc.

Business Wire
February 12, 2018

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (PPBI) (the “Company,” “Pacific Premier,” “we,” “us” or “our”), the holding company of Pacific Premier Bank (“Pacific Premier Bank”), and Grandpoint Capital, Inc. (OTC Pink: GPNC) (“Grandpoint”) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Pacific Premier will acquire Grandpoint in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $641.2 million, or $18.57 per share, based on a closing price for Pacific Premier’s common stock of $39.10 as of February 9, 2018.

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By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

A consulting firm getting more than $40 million from Riverside County to make county government more efficient used a misleading measure to claim it improved response times at the Sheriff’s Hemet station, sheriff’s officials said in a wide-ranging critique of the firm’s efforts.

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Attorneys alleging the mishandling of reports of sexual abuse by former Redlands High School teacher and convicted sex offender Kevin Patrick Kirkland have sued another former teacher, alleging he sexually abused a student.

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More than 600 hundred brick buildings in the Inland Empire are unretrofitted and at risk of collapse during a major earthquake, despite decades of warning, a Times analysis has found

By Rosanna Xia, Rong-Gong Lin II and Raoul Rañoa
Feb 09, 2018 | 8:35 AM

In a fast-growing Inland Empire churning out new housing tracts, the city of Redlands is a throwback to an older, more regal era.

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Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with CDCR, pushed back on Ramos’ assertions, saying the board under the law must assess whether individuals have turned their lives around and they reject parole the vast majority of the time. “Unfortunately, D.A. Ramos is wrong on the facts and politicizing a serious process that’s been in place in California for more than a century,” Waters said in an email to the Daily Press. “The Parole Board is made up of law enforcement and public safety professionals with decades of experience, including a former prison warden, assistant sheriff, CHP division chief and supervising deputy district attorney, among others.”

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at 5:29 PM
Updated Feb 6, 2018 at 5:29 PM

“Are you kidding me? I mean what’s going on in this state?” Ramos told the Daily Press. “We’re going to have to take back this system.”

Strongly urging the governor to reject their recommendations, San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos castigated the California Board of Parole Hearings on Tuesday as liberal agendists after six convicted murderers in this County were granted parole last month.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County Attorney’s Union gives to Ramos, Rutherford

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 – 12:00 p.m.

How does the saying go? Time heals all wounds.

Apparently that’s the case with the relationship between the San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association (SBCPAA), and both County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and District Attorney Mike Ramos.

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Former Colonies trial bribery defendant, Mark Kirk, walks his daughter Audrey, 6, to school on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Kirk walks his daughter to school nearly every day. (Sarah Alvarado for The Sun)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 5, 2018 at 11:35 am | Updated: February 5, 2018 at 11:55 am

Mark Kirk remembers one of the longest nights of his life: May 9, 2011 — the night before he surrendered himself to authorities at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

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The County of San Bernardino Government Center in San Bernardino. (File art)

By Beau Yarbrough | byarbrough@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: February 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Updated: February 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm

California legislators aren’t the only ones named in documents released Friday regarding public harassment in California’s state capital.

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By Jim Steinberg | jsteinberg@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm

A division director for the San Bernardino County Probation Department has been put on administrative leave following a felony arrest Wednesday, Jan. 31, the agency’s spokeswoman said Saturday.

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InlandPolitics: Read the documents related to Russia Investigation

By Jim Erwin
Saturday, February 3, 2018 – 07:30 p.m.

Well the pot is boiling now that the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence memo, drafted by the committee majority, commonly-referred to as the Nunes-Memo, has been declassified by President Donald Trump.

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Fed caps growth at Wells Fargo over sham accounts, other consumer abuses.

By James Rufus Koren
Feb 02, 2018 | 5:25 PM

The Federal Reserve ordered Wells Fargo & Co. on Friday to cap its growth and improve its corporate governance, punishment for what the regulator called “widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns” at the San Francisco financial giant.

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By Liam Dillon
Feb. 1, 2018 – 3:30 p.m.

Almost every city and county in California will have to streamline its rules for approving new housing following the passage of legislation last year, the state Department of Housing and Community Development said Thursday.

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Bloomberg: California Could See the Return of $4 Gasoline by May

By Milana Vinn
January 31, 2018, 12:12 PM PST

  • Price at the pump rose to $3.30, the highest since 2015
  • Increase in state’s gasoline taxes adds pressure on consumers

Motorists in California, the state with the most expensive gasoline, could see pump prices that begin with a 4 again as oil markets rally.

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By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
February 01, 2018 – 12:01 AM

California’s swelling budget reserves are approaching a point where the state by law can’t save any more money ‑ but don’t expect a tax rebate.

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Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, answers questions regarding the Colonies corruption case during an interview at his office in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., Thursday, September 28, 2017. Burum is one of the three defendants in the San Bernardino County-Colonies corruption case that were recently found not guilty of all charges, after a prolonged trial that lasted nearly eight months. (Photo by John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: January 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Updated: January 30, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Developer Jeffrey Burum, who was acquitted of all charges in the Colonies corruption case last year, filed on Tuesday a malicious prosecution and civil rights violation claim against San Bernardino County and the State of California, with his attorney saying the failed prosecution turned his client’s life “into a living hell.”

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The San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s immigration plan puts Democrats in a vise

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., rallies in support of the “Dreamers” during a protest on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press)

By Carolyn Lochhead
Published: January 27, 2018
Updated: January 27, 2018 8:36 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s newly released plan to resolve the fate of young immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children would constitute the biggest change to immigration policy in decades, putting Democrats and their allies in a painful vise.

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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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The state Attorney General’s Bureau of Children’s Justice is announcing this morning its investigation into San Bernardino County’s Child Protective Services system and allegations that children are repeatedly placed into abusive homes, where they have been severely abused, some to the point of death. (Staff photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun, SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 24, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Updated: January 24, 2018 at 7:55 pm

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the adoptive parents of two boys alleges the San Bernardino County’s Department of Children and Family Services failed to disclose that one of the boys had a history of sexually abusing his younger brother and other children.

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