Archive for the ‘ Legal ’ Category

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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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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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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InlandPolitics: Hardiman makes sense for Supreme Court pick

Hardiman

Monday, July 9, 2018 – 09:00 a.m.

Who’s President Donald Trump going to pick for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court? Well only he knows thew answer to that question.

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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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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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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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By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
Published: May 19, 2018 – 11:38 AM
Updated:   May 20, 2018 – 10:15 AM

Only a quarter of applicants passed the California bar exam in its most recent sitting, the State Bar of California announced this week, a record low for the test that lawyers must successfully complete to practice in the state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Tuesday, April 3, 2018 – 02:45 p.m.

The first of four anticipated federal civil rights lawsuits, a result of the Colonies Criminal case debacle, was filed against San Bernardino County.

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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.

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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Administrator’s Note: For those individuals who have contacted InlandPolitics.com requesting communication, the law firm of Hardin & Lott will respond to all telephone and email inquiries made directly to their offices. Your privacy will be protected. Please don’t email this website.

Friday, March 9, 2018 – 02:30 p.m.

LEGAL NOTICE

You have the right to a sexual harassment-free workplace. It has been alleged by several employees that there have been consensual sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates in the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office.

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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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By Franco Ordonez, Anita Chabria And Stephen Magagnini
Published: March 06, 2018 11:28 AM
Updated: March 06, 2018 07:20 PM

The Trump administration on Tuesday sued California over its sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants, setting off a chorus of near-unanimous defiance from California lawmakers.

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InlandPolitics: Colonies case lawyers receive prestigious legal award

Friday, March 2, 2018 – 07:25 p.m.

The defense attorneys who represented the fully vindicated defendants in the Colonies criminal case have each received one of the highest honors for attorneys in California, each being recognized as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (the “CLAY Award”) as nominated by their peers in the California legal community and selected by the editors of the Daily Journal and the California Lawyer, California’s leading legal periodicals.

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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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InlandPolitics: Colonies Federal Lawsuit available online

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Thursday, March 1, 2018 – 06:35 p.m.

The civil lawsuit filed by Colonies Partners L.P. against the County of San Bernardino and various county and State of California officials is now available online.

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Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane, acquitted last August in an epic public corruption case that spanned nearly eight years, filed claims against the county and state on Friday alleging malicious prosecution. He is seeking more than $10 million in damages.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
February 26, 2018 at 11:05 pm

Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane filed malicious prosecution claims against the county and state on Friday, Feb. 23, seeking more than $10 million in damages, making him the last of the former Colonies corruption case defendants to do so.

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InlandPolitics: Colonies Case: Biane files claim against county, state

Friday, February 23, 2018 – 06:30 p.m.

Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane filed separate claims against both the county and State of California on Friday.

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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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InlandPolitics: Colonies Case: Burum claim available online

Sunday, February 18, 2018 – 06:00 p.m.

The fourth in a series of multi-million dollar claims related to the Colonies prosecution debacle, filed on January 30, 2018, is now available online.

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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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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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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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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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InlandPolitics: Colonies witness surrenders to serve sentence

Thursday, January 25, 2016 – 02:30 p.m.

A so-called key witness in the long-running and ill-fated Colonies Corruption Trial, surrendered to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies on Wednesday morning to commence serving a purported 180-day jail term.

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By Patrick McGreevy
Jan. 19, 2018 – 3:32 p.m.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday to support mandatory union fees for public employees.

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Former San Bernardino County Assessor and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus listen to the judge during his hearing at the San Bernardino Justice Center in San Bernardino, Ca., Friday, January 19, 2018. Postmus’ sentencing for crime he committed at the Assessor’s Office in 2007 and 2008 and in the Colonies public corruption case,was postponed because he retained new lawyer Jeffery Jeffrey Lawrence. (John Valenzuela/The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Updated: January 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Sentencing for former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus was delayed on Friday after Postmus retained a new attorney, who told the judge he may file a motion to withdraw Postmus’s 2011 guilty plea.

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

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

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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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The Sun: Beaumont corruption probe prosecutors argue against dropping charges

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

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

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

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

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Monday, January 8, 2018 – 12:00 a.m.

A San Diego appellate court has affirm a $6.5 million jury award to the target of  murder-for-hire scheme involving two member of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

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

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

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

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The Associated Press: Cases Could Open Door To Pension Cuts For California Workers

California Gov. Jerry Brown gestures to a chart showing the increase spending…

Credit: Associated Press
By Associated Press
Thursday, December 28, 2017

For decades in California, a sacrosanct rule has governed public employees’ pensions: Benefits promised can never be taken away.

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InlandPolitics: S.B. County: Shaking your head in amazement

Thursday, December 28, 2017 – 10:00 p.m.

There’s no argument, or debate for that matter, that San Bernardino County, California operates by its own set of rules.

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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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Daily Press: After Colonies acquittals, more than $100M sought in connection

By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted: Dec 20, 2017 at 12:35 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Claim rejections will set the stage for civil lawsuits to be filed in federal court, sure to embroil the county in costly litigation proceedings.

A $102 million land use settlement set off a drawn-out criminal probe, sparking the biggest public corruption scandal in this county’s history. But after jurors returned not guilty verdicts in late summer, the fallout has continued.

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Mark Kirk, the former chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, left, and his defense attorney Peter Scalisi react after Kirk is found not guilty of all charges in the Colonies corruption case verdict hearing at San Bernardino Superior Court in San Bernardino, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Defendants kirk, Developer Jeff Burum and former San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane were found not guilty after a marathon trial that has lasted nearly eight months. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: December 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm | UPDATED: December 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm

A former top San Bernardino County official filed a $35 million malicious-prosecution claim against the county Monday, alleging his reputation was destroyed due to trumped up criminal charges against him and three other co-defendants, all of whom were either acquitted or had their cases dismissed.

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Stephen Larson, the defense attorney for Colonies Partners co-managing partner Jeff Burum, speaks during public comments at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Colonies Partners, the Rancho Cucamonga developer embroiled in years of litigation with San Bernardino County including this yearÕs failed public corruption prosecution, wants the Board of Supervisors to restore $45.2 million the partnership spent to successfully defend itself in both civil and criminal court. The amount includes $32 million in legal fees and $13.4 million in lost profits on hasty land sales made to help defray legal costs. (Stan Lim, San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: December 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm | UPDATED: December 15, 2017 at 12:51 am

An attorney for Rancho Cucamonga investor group and developer Colonies Partners LP filed a claim Thursday against San Bernardino County seeking more than $45 million in damages, alleging the county failed to indemnify Colonies in two legal actions.

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The Sun: Colonies Partners: San Bernardino County owes us $45.2 million

Stephen Larson, the defense attorney for Colonies Partners co-managing partner Jeff Burum, speaks during public comments at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Colonies Partners, the Rancho Cucamonga developer embroiled in years of litigation with San Bernardino County including this yearÕs failed public corruption prosecution, wants the Board of Supervisors to restore $45.2 million the partnership spent to successfully defend itself in both civil and criminal court. The amount includes $32 million in legal fees and $13.4 million in lost profits on hasty land sales made to help defray legal costs. (Stan Lim, San Bernardino Sun/SCNG)

By Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com and Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: November 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Updated: November 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

San Bernardino County owes $45.2 million to Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners, the cost of civil and criminal litigation that spiraled upwards for years over a flood control basin in Upland, according to a demand letter hand-delivered Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors.

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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 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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“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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Capitol Weekly: Overhaul urged for California court fines

By John Howard
Posted 05.26.2017

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

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Maya Lau
May 24, 2017 – 12:45 p.m.

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

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The San Francisco Chronicle: California bar exam pass rate continues to slump

By Dominic Fracassa
Published: May 15, 2017
Updated: May 15, 2017 3:26pm

The proportion of prospective attorneys who passed the California bar exam has sunk yet again, according to data released by the State Bar of California on Friday, with just 34.5 percent of test takers making the grade.

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The Sacramento Bee: Legislature tries State Bar fix, but remedy falls short

Observations on California and its politics
By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
May 14, 2017 – 4:00 PM

California has a rogue’s gallery of malfunctioning state agencies, with the Board of Equalization the current poster child for disarray and miscreant behavior.

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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 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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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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Joseph Tanfani
April 21, 2017, 8:33 a.m.

Reporting from Washington—

The Justice Department on Friday fired an opening shot in the Trump administration’s crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities, sending letters to nine jurisdictions asking for proof that they are cooperating with immigration enforcement, and indicating they are at risk of losing federal grants.

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San Bernardino County deems proposed petition to ban undocumented immigrants in Yucaipa schools illegal

By Beau Yarbrough | Press-Enterprise
Published: April 15, 2017 at 9:44 pm |
Updated:   April 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm

SAN BERNARDINO >> A proposed ballot initiative that would have banned undocumented immigrant children from attending Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified schools is something that only the California legislature can do, according to San Bernardino County’s elections chief.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sudhin Thanawala
March 03, 2017

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

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Capitol Weekly: Bar exam failure rates draw scrutiny

By John Howard
February 23, 2017

California’s law-school students are failing the daunting State Bar exam in surprising numbers — and experts are trying to figure out why.

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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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By Richard K. DeAtley
Posted: 02/23/17 – 9:45 PM PST |

San Bernardino County could pay $48 million for the property of one of the few remaining Chino dairy farmers after the family complained in a lawsuit that most of their spread, located under a landing pattern for Chino Airport, had been turned into a no-build zone without compensation.

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Former Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich could face disbarment, suspension and other sanctions, depending on what the State Bar Court recommends.

Frank Shyong and Joel Rubin
February 22, 2017

The State Bar of California is seeking to discipline former Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, claiming that as a county prosecutor he suppressed important evidence and allowed a witness to give false testimony during a 1985 murder case.

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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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The Sacramento Bee: State Bar settles one fight, but is embroiled in another

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
February 7, 2017 – 6:03 PM

The legislative skirmishing over the future of the State Bar appears to be nearing an amicable resolution.

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