Archive for the ‘ In the News ’ Category

InlandPolitics: A headline that was a long time in coming!

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Sunday, October 01, 2017 – 11:30 p.m.

The headline in Sunday’s edition of The Sun was a long time in coming for former Colonies Criminal Case defendants Paul Biane, Jeff Burum, Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk.

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.

Travelers arrive at Ontario International Airport in Ontario in July 2014. (File photo)

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 08/04/17 – 8:20 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> Two former top Ontario administrators have been given lucrative contracts aimed at improving the future development of Ontario International Airport.

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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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Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, talks with then-Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen on Sept. 1, 2015. (Rich Pedroncelli The Associated Press)
Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
July 18, 2017 – 5:39 PM

Incensed that Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes supported a Democratic plan to renew a key climate change policy, California conservative activists are calling for his resignation and raising allegations of an affair with his predecessor.

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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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The San Francisco Chronicle: Impeach Trump? Democrats need to take a deep breath

A push by Democrats to impeach President Trump at this point could ultimately backfire on them. (Photo: Pete Marovich, Bloomberg)

By Willie Brown
June 10, 2017

It was great entertainment, but for all the hype, the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings that featured former FBI Director James Comey failed to deliver a knockout punch.

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Pending home sales numbers drop again, worrying California market analysts.

By Rose Meily |
Published: June 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Updated: June 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Consistent with the slowdown in April’s closed home sales, low housing inventory and eroding affordability suppressed pending home sales for the fourth straight month, the California Association of Realtors has announced. The state Realtor group’s April Market Pulse Survey shows mixed results, with Realtors reporting an increase in floor calls and less open house traffic for the fourth straight month.

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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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The Sacramento Bee: Growing retirement costs are hitting new state budget hard

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 28, 2017 – 12:01 AM

California’s rapidly growing public employee retirement costs weigh heavily on the 2017-18 state budget now being fashioned, but their impact is only partially revealed in budget documents.

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Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas during a news conference on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

By Tony Saavedra | tsaavedra@scng.com and Jordan Graham | jgraham@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published: May 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm
Updated: May 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Two investigators for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office say their top boss, Tony Rackauckas, as well as other county prosecutors and office supervisors, covered up criminal conduct by police and hid evidence in several high-profile cases.

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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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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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Calpensions: CalSTRS rates are doubling, but is that enough?

Ed Mendel
May 8, 2017

Long-delayed legislation is more than doubling the CalSTRS rates paid by school districts and the state. But even if the all-important pension fund investment earnings are on target, the huge CalSTRS debt is expected to continue to grow for another decade.

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By Erica Werner and Alan Fram
May 4, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Delivering at last, triumphant House Republicans voted Thursday to repeal and replace the “Obamacare” health plan they have reviled for so long, overcoming united Democratic opposition and their own deep divisions to hand a major win to President Donald Trump.

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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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Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 02, 2017 – 5:10 PM

Throughout California, local government and school district officials are writing new budgets and confronting rapidly rising costs of pensions.

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By Brooke Edwards Staggs | Orange County Register
and Lisa Krieger, The Mercury News
Published: May 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Updated: May 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Medical marijuana advocates are relieved that a bipartisan spending deal to fund the government through September also extended an amendment that protects them from federal prosecution.

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Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
April 28, 2017 – 5:30 PM

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, visited The Bee Capitol Bureau on Wednesday to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the California Legislature this year. Here’s what he had to say:

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By Teri Sforza,
tsforza@scng.com, @ocwatchdog, terisforza on Twitter
Posted: 04/27/17 – 10:01 PM PDT |

‘Tis better to give than to receive, they say — especially when you’re giving someone else’s money.

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The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
April 25, 2017 – 7:00 AM

Public employee unions presented a united front on Monday against a bill by Sen. John Moorlach that aimed to close California’s pension funding gap by eliminating cost-of-living increases and asking local governments to chip in a greater share of their revenue toward retirements.

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Early morning traffic makes its way along the 91 Freeway in Riverside County. A new report from a nonpartisan think tank finds that the recently passed $52.4 billion transportation funding bill, which raises the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon, isn’t a long-term solution for California’s transportation needs. (File)

By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/24/17 – 7:43 PM PDT |

A newly passed transportation funding bill that raises California’s gasoline tax by 12 cents a gallon isn’t a long-term fix for the state’s crumbling roads, according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.

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The Sun: Hidden costs of gas-tax legislation: Jon Coupal

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a press conference regarding a landmark road repair and transportation investment package on April 4, 2017 in Riverside. (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Jon Coupal
Posted: 04/21/1 – 4:11 PM PDT |

For the last three weeks this column has focused on both the policies and politics of the $5.2 billion annual transportation tax increase. In the unlikely event that some have forgotten — or were on another planet — the taxes include a substantial hike in the car tax as well as a 12 cent increase in the gas tax.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune: Dumanis to resign July 7, mulls run for county board

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced that she is stepping down as District Attorney after nearly 15 years in the position.

Greg Moran
April 20, 2017

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced Thursday she is resigning effective July 7, ending a nearly 15-year tenure as the county’s chief prosecutor.

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Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
April 19, 2017 – 11:37 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday dismissed as “preposterous” suggestions that he broke the law by providing district-specific projects to lawmakers to win their support for his $52 billion road repair package with tax and fee increases.

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The bill sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League comes amid citywide debate over police discipline practices. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Liam Dillon
April 19, 2017

It would be more difficult for police departments in California to discipline officers accused of lying under under a plan proposed by a Los Angeles lawmaker.

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Associated Press: California Senate approves projects linked to gas tax hike

By Jonathan J. Cooper and Sophia Bollag
Apr. 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Senate on Monday approved more than $900 million worth of road and train projects that were promised to lawmakers in order to secure their support for a hike in gas taxes and vehicle fees.

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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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By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
April 15, 2017

Blowing past state officials’ financial projections, three construction contractors submitted bids for the Oroville Dam repairs that begin at $275 million, the Department of Water Resources said Saturday.

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Capitol Alert
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
April 13, 2017 – 5:16 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday asked the state Department of Justice to investigate California’s troubled Board of Equalization and severely restricted the tax agency’s ability to do business.

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Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), left, Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) were the forces pushing for a new transportation funding bill. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy, Melanie Mason and John Myers
April 9 , 2017

In one of the biggest legislative victories of his storied political career, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed through an ambitious plan last week that will increase gas taxes and vehicle fees to raise $52 billion over the next decade for the repair of California’s system of crumbling roads, highways and bridges.

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Democratic state Senators Ricardo Lara, of Bell Gardens, left, and Richard Roth, of Riverside, confer off the Senate floor in Sacramento. By a razor-thin margin, lawmakers late Thursday, April 6 approved a $5-billion-a-year boost in California’s gas and vehicle taxes to pay for major road repairs. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

By Jeff Horseman / Staff Writer
Published: April 7, 2017 – Updated: 11:41 a.m.

Riverside County will get $420 million for transportation infrastructure projects, and four cities will finally get their vehicle license fee revenue back, thanks to a deal struck with two Democratic lawmakers to get their votes for a massive transportation funding package.

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos

Posted: 04/07/17 – 6:07 PM PDT |

The assault of Francis Pusok in 2015 by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies was televised for the entire country to see. Unlike some cases in recent years in which one could plausibly explain away and even justify use of force by officers, the beating of Pusok was indisputably excessive.

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By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 04/07/17 – 6:34 PM PDT |

After a record-breaking winter rainy season, plus an impressive effort by Southland residents at conserving water in the first two months of 2017, California’s devastating five-year drought is finally over.

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Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller, Christopher Cadelago and Taryn Luna
jmiller@sacbee.com
April 8, 2017 – 12:01 AM

California drivers will begin paying 12 cents per gallon more in gas taxes later this year, the first of several tax and fee hikes contained in this week’s road-funding bill that eventually will cost the average motorist about $120 a year.

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Capitol Alert
By Taryn Luna and Alexei Koseff
tluna@sacbee.com
April 6, 2017 – 7:00 PM

The state Legislature on Thursday passed a sweeping $52 billion transportation plan that will raise California gas taxes after leaders struck deals with wavering lawmakers to fund road projects in their districts.

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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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Pay gap between men and women by industry

Natalie Kitroeff and Nina Agrawal
April 4, 2017

Today is Equal Pay Day, which was invented by an activist group two decades ago to draw attention to the wage divide between men and women.

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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 Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
April 3, 2017 – 3:22 PM

During Barack Obama’s presidency, Republican congressional leaders easily passed repeals of Obama’s landmark health insurance law, knowing they were DOA.

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/30/17 – 8:08 PM PDT |

A senior prosecutor’s assertion that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department fosters a “culture of violence” outraged a local law enforcement labor union, prompting a swift apology from the supervising deputy district attorney and a public statement from the district attorney himself.

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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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Frank Gehrke, right, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, plunges the survey tube into the snowpack as he conducts the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, near Echo Summit, Calif. The survey showed the snowpack at 179 percent of normal for this location at this time of year. The state’s electronic snow monitors say the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 185 percent of normal. At left is Armando Quintero chairman of the California Water Commission. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli/File)

By Paul Rogers, Bay Area News Group
Posted: 03/29/17 – 5:54 PM PDT |

The biggest blizzards are over. But as state water officials head into the Sierra Nevada on Thursday for the annual April 1 snowpack reading — the most important of the year for planning summer water supplies — California still has a huge amount of snow covering its highest mountain peaks, an avalanche that has buried the state’s punishing drought.

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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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California leaders say they will continue to protect people in the country illegally despite an announcement by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions that the U.S. Department of Justice would soon cut federal grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

Ruben Vives and Cindy Carcamo
March 27, 2017

Leaders from so-called sanctuary cities across Southern California struck a defiant tone Monday, stating that they would continue to protect people who are in the country illegally despite threats by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to cut off and even claw back grant funding from the Justice Department.

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By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted:    Mar 23, 2017 at 3:28 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2017 at 4:44 PM

HESPERIA — Mayor Paul Russ said he doesn’t remember much of last week after a medical emergency put him into a coma and a local hospital.

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Natalie Kitroeff
March 24, 2017

California’s unemployment rate ticked down to 5% in February, reaching a 10-year low on eight consecutive months of job growth.

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By Jeff Horseman / Staff Reporter
Published: March 21, 2017 – Updated: 10:09 p.m.

A 17-year senior prosecutor in the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office is challenging his boss’s re-election bid in 2018.

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Los Angeles Daily News: Here’s how California ended up with too much solar power

By David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 03/18/17 – 2:47 PM PDT |

California’s power-grid operators are dealing with a glut of daytime electricity produced by household, government, business and industrial solar installations.

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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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After a day and a half of deliberations, a federal jury found former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca guilty Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 03/15/17 – 2:10 PM PDT |

Once the head of the largest law enforcement agency of its kind in the nation, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was found guilty by a federal jury Wednesday of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and giving false statements in connection with an investigation into corruption and excessive use of force inside the Men’s Central Jail.

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The Sun: Ed O’Brien to Challenge DA Ramos in 2018

By Jeff Horseman
Posted: 03/14/17 –  4:30 PM PDT

Ed O’Brien, a former prosecutor turned public defender also announced Tuesday he will run for DA.

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Los Angeles Daily News: California’s property tax burden 10th worst in nation

California’s 0.81 percent effective rate, by WalletHub math – that’s 81 cents per $100 of assessed value – was tied for 17th lowest among the states. (Register file photo)

By Jonathan Lansner,
jlansner@scng.com
Posted: 03/12/17 – 10:17 PM PDT |

Warning: Property taxes are due April 10.

Before you search for the bill and the checkbook – and perhaps express a few choice nasty words aloud about the financial pinch – let me make you extra grumpy.

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San Bernardino police Sgt. Chris Gray chats with Rene Maldonado, 13, and Isaiah Bustamante, 11, Sept. 25, 2016 in San Bernardino. (Micah Escamilla/Staff Photographer)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 03/12/17, 9:01 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Shootings in a pair of economically distressed California cities were skyrocketing, leaving the impression of an epidemic, but analysis by California Partnerships for a Safe Community revealed relatively few people are behind many of those shootings.

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The Sun: California gets high grade for medical marijuana access, report says

“The Strain” marijuana dispensary in Chatsworth shows its products. California does a good job of letting medical marijuana patients get their treatment of choice, but some elements of the state’s marijuana laws still fail to protect people with legitimate ailments, according to a report released Thursday. Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

By Brooke Staggs, bstaggs@scng.com JournoBrooke on Twitter
Posted: 03/10/17 – 6:01 PM PST |

California does a good job of letting medical marijuana patients get their treatment of choice, but some elements of the state’s marijuana laws still fail to protect people with legitimate ailments, according to a report released Thursday by a patient advocacy group.

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Associated Press: California State Bar bans sex between attorneys and clients

AP Nation / World
By Sudhin Thanawala
Associated Press
Mar 10, 2017 – 6:56 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The State Bar of California approved an ethics rule that would subject lawyers to discipline for having sex with their clients.

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CNBC: US created 235,000 jobs in Feb, vs 190,000 expected

Jeff Cox | @JeffCoxCNBCcom
March 10, 2017

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Donald Trump’s term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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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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The Sacramento Bee: CalPERS set to slash pensions for nearly 200 workers

Capitol Alert
By Adam Ashton
aashton@sacbee.com
March 7, 2017 – 4:41 PM

For the second time in four months, CalPERS is preparing to slash benefits for a group of retirees whose former employer stopped cutting checks to fund their pensions.

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Daily Press: Lovingood fined $6K for failing to disclose business interests

Lovingood said Monday that the violations stemmed from a “disagreement centered on the definition of the word ‘income'” — or net versus gross revenue, of which he believed rules were framed by the former, and the Fair Political Practices Commission, the latter.

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted:     Mar 6, 2017 at 6:07 PM
Updated:  Mar 6, 2017 at 7:04 PM

San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood violated Fair Political Practices Commission rules by failing to timely disclose income sources of $10,000 or more to his staffing company in 2013 and 2014. He was fined and paid $6,000 to settle four counts lodged against him.

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Esmeralda Bermudez
March 6, 2017

A San Bernardino County supervisor has agreed to pay a $6,000 fine for not disclosing part of his earnings in state filings.

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The Sun: Business trip to China could lead to large mall near Ontario airport

Ontario International Airport Authority commissioner Curt Hagman (left) and OIAA CEO Kelly Fredericks recently returned from a trip to China to foster economic partnerships for growth. Here they sit in a China Airlines simulator cockpit in Taoyuan City, Taiwan.

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 03/05/17 – 9:38 PM PST |

ONTARIO >> A recent trip to China connected a San Bernardino County supervisor and a top Ontario International Airport official with a developer who’s considering vacant land near ONT as an ideal spot for a large indoor mall.

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By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 03/03/17 – 2:16 PM PST |

Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire saw heavy job losses in January following the meager gains that were posted in December, but California still managed to add nearly 10,000 jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

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California saw a net gain of 9,700 jobs in January while its unemployment rate fell to 5.1%. (Source: Employment Development Department and Los Angeles Times graphics)

Natalie Kitroeff
March 3, 2016

The California economy started 2017 on a strong note, with employers adding a net 9,700 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropping to 5.1%, according to data released by the Employment Development Department.

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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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By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
March 2, 2017 – 3:59 PM

Late Wednesday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority dispatched a report to the Legislature, crowing about progress in building a statewide bullet train system.

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