Archive for the ‘ Law Enforcement ’ Category

The Etiwanda School District office in Rancho Cucamonga, CA., Wednesday, October 11, 2017. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

By Beau Yarbrough | byarbrough@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: September 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Updated: September 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy violated the Fourth Amendment rights of a group of Etiwanda Intermediate students when he arrested them because he thought they were uncooperative in a bullying investigation, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, Sept. 10.

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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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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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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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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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Daily Press: Victorville’s law enforcement contract to rise 6 percent

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted: Apr 19, 2018 at 5:04 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 at 5:04 PM

VICTORVILLE — The city’s contract for law enforcement services will rise to $25.4 million next fiscal year, up more than 6 percent over the current year despite identical staffing levels.

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Daily Press: Inserting itself in DA’s race — the Colonies aftermath

Attorney/Law Professor Jason Anderson left. Incumbent District Attorney Mike Ramos right.

Shea Johnson, Staff Reporter
Sunday, April 8, 2018 – 06:22 a.m.

  • It remains to be seen how exactly the residuum will impact this election. What is clear, however, is that it is firmly intertwined in it.

Mike Ramos, the San Bernardino County District Attorney, will announce on Monday a newly created prevention and intervention unit to act as the community outreach arm of his office, where he has been the top prosecutor since 2002.

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Monday, April 2, 2018 – 08:00 a.m.

The San Bernardino County Public Attorney’s Association (SBCPAA) has been hijacked by rogue leadership and the rank and file members are furious according to multiple sources inside the union. It is well known in local political circles that the public defenders that make up slightly less than half of the population of the SBCPAA loath District Attorney Mike Ramos and that a vast majority of the rank and file deputy district attorneys also feel very negatively about Mike Ramos, so it came as a surprise when it was announced that the union had endorsed Mike Ramos for reelection. Recent investigative reporting has uncovered why. The membership was never asked who they wished to endorse, if at all, in the district attorney race.

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Applicants do push-ups as Sheriff’s Investigator Nelson Guzman, left, gives out instructions during the agility test to potentially become new Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies at Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center in Riverside in August. Potential deputies undergo fitness test to determined their physical abilities. Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG

By Alicia Robinson | arobinson@scng.com | The Orange County Register
Published: March 26, 2018 at 6:30 am | Updated: March 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

Early one morning before the Inland heat burned the chill off the air outdoors, dozens of men and a handful of women in workout clothes sweated their way through pushups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run.

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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.

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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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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By Mike Cruz | mcruz@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
March 14, 2018 at 8:37 pm

San Bernardino County sheriff’s Lt. Jim Considine, who returned to law enforcement after losing a leg because of the injuries he suffered during a nightmare pursuit in the county area of Victorville in 1997, was honored Wednesday night at the Ontario Reign game.

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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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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: March 5, 2018 at 4:44 pm | UpdatedD: March 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said he knows that his strongest challenger in the June primary election is being funded heavily by the vindicated Colonies corruption case defendants and their supporters.

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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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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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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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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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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: San Bernardino County District Attorney Ramos should retire

San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos.

DeFazio said the business he ran prior to his arrest, Artisan Real Estate, went belly up.

“They made a lot of calls to my clients and told them I was a very bad person,” DeFazio said of district attorney investigators.

By Jim Erwin, InlandPolitics.com
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – 01:00 a.m.

It’s well known that San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos has always had aspirations for higher office.

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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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Slate: The Innocence Deniers

When convictions are clearly wrong, these prosecutors don’t just hinder justice—they actively work against it.

By Lara Bazelon
January 10, 2018

Davontae Sanford was 14 years old when he confessed to murdering four people in a drug house on Detroit’s East Side. Left alone with detectives in a late-night interrogation, Sanford says he broke down after being told he could go home if he gave them “something.” On the advice of a lawyer whose license was later suspended for misconduct, Sanford pleaded guilty in the middle of his March 2008 trial and received a sentence of 39 to 92 years in prison.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon speaks during the memorial service for San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Lawrence “Larry” Falce at Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, Ca., January 9, 2018. Well off-duty, Falce, a 36-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was assaulted following a minor traffic crash in San Bernardino and later died from his injuries. (John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG

By Brian Rokos | brokos@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: January 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Updated: January 10, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Marjorie Falce-Jorgensen gazed upon an audience of 1,000 mourners and spoke about heroes and villains and family.

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By Brian Rokos | brokos@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: January 6, 2018 at 10:00 am | Updated: January 6, 2018 at 11:01 am

The driver whose car had collided with that of off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Larry Falce on New Year’s Eve is accused of balling his fist and unleashing a devastating punch to Falce’s head.

The 70-year-old fell back, lifeless, and struck the rear of his head on the pavement at Kendall Drive and University Parkway in San Bernardino.

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By Brian Rokos | brokos@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
PUBLISHED: January 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm | UPDATED: January 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Services for San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Larry Falce, who died Jan. 2, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 9.

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Associated Press: California driver charged with single-punch murder of deputy

This undated photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department shows deputy Lawrence Falce. Falce has died after he was punched by a driver after an off-duty traffic accident on New Year’s Eve. The Sheriff’s Department says Falce died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in a hospital. Authorities say the 70-year-old deputy and another driver collided Sunday morning near California State University, San Bernardino. (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Associated Press
January 4, 2017

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A 70-year-old, off-duty sheriff’s deputy braked to avoid two dogs and was rear-ended by a driver who then got out and delivered a fatal punch, police said Wednesday in announcing a murder charge against the man.

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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Falce accompanying a child during a 2017 SEBA Christmas Shop with a Cop event.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – 09:30 p.m.

A 36-year veteran deputy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has succumbed to injuries sustained from an unprovoked off-duty attack.

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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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InlandPolitics: Corrupt Justice in a dark county

Sunday, December 24, 2017 – 09:00 p.m.

It’s time!

After months of reflection on just what happened in the ill-conceived, not to mention corrupt, Colonies prosecution, let’s put it all out there.

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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 Sentinel: Erwin Cites Malicious Evidence Fabrication In $25M Claim Vs. DA & AG

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By Mark Gutglueck
Posted on November 4, 2017

The accusers this week became the accused, seven weeks after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges against Jim Erwin in the Colonies Partners Lawsuit Settlement Public Corruption Prosecution.

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Jim Erwin smiling during a September court hearing where it was announced he will not be retried in the Colonies bribery case. He filed a $25 million claim against the county on Tuesday alleging, among other things, malicious prosecution.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: November 1, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Updated: November 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

Jim Erwin, a former defendant in the ill-fated Colonies corruption case that ended with Erwin’s case being dismissed and three other defendants acquitted, filed a $25 million claim against San Bernardino County and the state on Wednesday.

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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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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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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 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: 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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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Maya Lau
May 24, 2017 – 12:45 p.m.

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

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On Sept. 2, 2015, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Todd Spitzer was emotional while reflecting on an incident more than five months previously at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in Lake Forest. He handcuffed Jeobay Castellano and called police when the man would not stop trying to proselytize even when Spitzer told him he was a Christian. (File photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

By Tony Saavedra | tsaavedra@scng.com | Orange County Register
Published:  May 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm
Updated:    May 23, 2017 at 7:30 am

The day after the news show “60 Minutes” turned a national spotlight on local prosecutors’ misuse of jailhouse informants, an Orange County supervisor formally asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take over the district attorney’s office.

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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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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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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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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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Daily Bulletin: Some facts ignored in critique of SEBA: Laren Leichliter

By Laren Leichliter
Posted: 04/14/17 – 1:40 PM PDT |

The Southern California News Group should take note of four glaring facts that were flatly ignored in Sal Rodriguez’s commentary (“Troubling ties between public officials, unions”) printed April 2, and a subsequent editorial (“Deputies get benefit of favoritism by DA”) printed April 9.

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The Sun: Editorial: San Bernardino deputies get benefit of favoritism by DA

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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James Queally, Kate Mather and Cindy Chang
April 1, 2017

In 2013, something changed on the streets of Los Angeles.

Police officers began making fewer arrests. The following year, the Los Angeles Police Department’s arrest numbers dipped even lower and continued to fall, dropping by 25% from 2013 to 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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IE Business Daily: San Bernardino is Right to Ask for Help


March 25, 2017

The City of San Bernardino has problems. The city, despite having exited bankruptcy, remains broke. The police department is undermanned and underfunded. Increased pension obligations to CalPERS threatens to consume any additional revenue to the department and the city.

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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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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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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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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 Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
and Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 02/25/17 – 5:29 PM PST |

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Psalms Zuniga spent his third birthday protesting outside West Valley Detention Center, where family members were demanding answers into his mother’s in-custody death a year ago.

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McClatchy DC: Trump administration plans crackdown on recreational marijuana

By Anita Kumar and Rob Hotakainen
McClatchy Washington Bureau
February 23, 2017 – 3:24 PM

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump’s administration said on Thursday for the first time that it will crack down on marijuana sales in states that have approved recreational pot use.

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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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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Foreign nationals were arrested on Feb. 7, 2017 in Los Angeles during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens.

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 02/10/17 – 8:26 PM PST |

The day after reports of immigration sweeps spread through six Southern California counties, federal authorities acknowledged Friday that there was a “surge” in the number of people detained, but almost all were convicted felons or those with multiple misdemeanors living in the country illegally, they said.

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Xavier Becerra (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Patrick McGreevy
Feb. 9, 2017 – 9:40 a.m.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Thursday formally announced his bid to run for election to the post in 2018, telling supporters he is ready to continue to battle the Trump administration when he thinks the president is trampling on rights.

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KPCC (AP): California attorney general nominee clears state Assembly

Associated Press
January 13, 2017 – 11:05 AM

The first chamber of the California Legislature has confirmed U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra to be the state’s next attorney general.

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

Joel Rubin
January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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The U.S. Department of Justice is carrying out a new probe into the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Seen are DA Tony Rackauckas and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. (File photos by Orange County Register/SCNG)

Tony Saavedra / Staff Writer
Jan. 6, 2017 – Updated 9:18 p.m.

Community forums. Face-to-face meetings with leaders of the local deputies union and with local defense attorneys. Twitter.

Is this any way to conduct a civil-rights investigation?

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The Sacramento Bee: Xavier Becerra formally nominated as California attorney general

Gov. Jerry Brown, joined Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, by his nominee for Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said California would collaborate where possible with President-elect Donald Trump but also uphold the state’s values.

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
ccadelago@sacbee.com
January 3, 2017 – 10:28 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown formally entered his nomination of Rep. Xavier Becerra for California attorney general on Tuesday, setting the 90-day clock for the Legislature to act.

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Matt Stevens
January 1, 2017

A 14-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has been arrested and booked on suspicion of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a teenage girl participating in the department’s youth Explorer program, authorities said.

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

Joel Rubin and Victoria Kim
December 24, 2016

The team of federal prosecutors was on a roll.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The U.S. Department of Justice is launching a civil rights investigation into the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department over allegations that prosecutors and police routinely withhold evidence and use jailhouse informants to illegally obtain confessions. From left, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. (Photos by Orange County Register/SCNG)

By Kelly Puente / Staff Writer
Published: Dec. 15, 2016
Updated:   Dec. 16, 2016 – 7:12 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched a civil rights investigation of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday over allegations that prosecutors and deputies withhold evidence and use jailhouse informants to illegally obtain confessions.

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

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

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Victoria Kim
December 10, 2016

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

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