Archive for the ‘ Local Government ’ Category

Friday, August 11, 2018 – 08:00 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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InlandPolitics: Skropos “threatens” run for Ontario City Council

 

Sunday, July 29, 2018 – 07:00 p.m.

Speaking of painting a bullseye on one’s forehead

Former Superior Court Judge and Ontario politico Gus Skropos is making waves, threats, or signals, depending on how one wants to interpret it, that he might run yet again for a seat on the Ontario City Council.

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

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

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InlandPolitics: Hesperia fills council vacancy

Wednesday, August 11, 2018 – 10:00 p.m.

The Hesperia City Council has filled the vacancy left by the unexpected passing of Russ Blewett.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018 – 02:30 p.m.

A local developer has somehow achieved an unimaginable re-zoning of property in Adelanto, California, a city in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Justice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com and Richard K. De Atley | rdeatley@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: June 7, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Updated: June 7, 2018 at 7:51 pm

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

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City Councilwoman Janice Elliott during the oath of office ceremony at the Upland City Council meeting, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. (Eric Reed/For The Bulletin/SCNG)

By Sandra Emerson | semerson@scng.com | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Published: May 25, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Updated: May 25, 2018 at 5:59 pm

The Upland City Council on Tuesday, May 29, will consider reprimanding Councilwoman Janice Elliott for misconduct and violating the trust of her colleagues, according to the city.

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By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:35 AM

HESPERIA — As the community continues to mourn the loss of Mayor Russ Blewett, the city is working through the difficult task of moving forward without him.

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Daily Press: Community mourns passing of Hesperia Mayor Russ Blewett

By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:44 AM Updated May 23, 2018 at 4:58 PM

HESPERIA — The community is mourning the unexpected passing of Mayor Russ Blewett.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Sandra Emerson | semerson@scng.com | Redlands Daily Facts
Published: April 24, 2018 at 7:37 am | UpdatedD: April 25, 2018 at 12:04 am

After a heated five hours of public testimony, the Upland City Council directed its attorney to file a supporting brief in a coastal city’s lawsuit against California’s controversial sanctuary state law.

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

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

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The Press-Enterprise: Is city manager’s firing a black eye for Riverside?

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: April 21, 2018 at 7:01 am | Updated: April 21, 2018 at 9:09 pm

Riverside City Council members were explicit in their warning when they voted in February to extend then-City Manager John Russo’s contract: If we don’t show strong support, staff members will see us as unsupportive and unstable.

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

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

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

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

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The Press-Enterprise: With city manager fired, who’s in charge of Riverside?

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: April 18, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Updated: April 18, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Now that Riverside’s city manager has been abruptly fired, there’s another question: Who’s running the city?

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The Press-Enterprise: Riverside City Manager John Russo fired by City Council

Riverside City Hall. File photo by William Wilson Lewis III, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: April 17, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Updated: April 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

Riverside City Manager John Russo was fired Tuesday, April 17, by the City Council — less than 10 weeks after it extended the top administrator’s contract and lavished praise on him.

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Capital Public Radio: Opposition To Immigrant Sanctuary Spreading In California

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

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

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InlandPolitics: $1.75 million airport fraud prosecution quietly disappears

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos in front of the microphones.

Sunday, April 8, 2018 – 11:45 a.m.

The high-profile case against the former operator of the San Bernardino International Airport and a business associate has quietly sailed away in the dark of night last month.

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By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
April 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

There appears to be little to no sentiment among Riverside or San Bernardino County supervisors to follow Orange County’s lead in joining a federal lawsuit against California over state laws intended to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.

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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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San Bernardino City Councilwoman Virginia Marquez recently announced she will not seek re-election. She was elected to the Ward 1 seat in 2009. (The Sun file photo)

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: March 16, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Updated: March 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Virginia Marquez is calling it a career. Again.

Ten years after retiring from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the 61-year-old recently announced she will not seek re-election to the San Bernardino City Council.

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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 Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: March 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Updated: March 6, 2018 at 3:58 pm

The chairman of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce filed a public claim against San Bernardino on Monday, March 5, alleging his civil rights were violated by several city officials at a recent City Council meeting.

The claim is a precursor to a civil lawsuit.

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

Gary Warth
March 3, 2018 – 06:00 a.m.

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

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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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The Sun: Private investigator clears Adelanto mayor of sexual harassment allegations

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 23, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Updated: February 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Adelanto Mayor Richard Kerr was cleared of sexual harassment allegations Friday after an independent investigator concluded he did not engage in unlawful sexual harassment nor violate city policies, city spokesman Michael Stevens said.

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By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 20, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Updated: February 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

After two weeks of public calls for a vote on Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey’s attempted veto of a new contract for the city manager, the City Council formally voted Tuesday, Feb. 20, to stand by the city attorney’s opinion that the only way to reject the contract would be a lawsuit.

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The Press-Enterprise: Attempt to recall 3 Corona City Council members fails

By Suzanne Hurt | shurt@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
February 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

An effort to recall three Corona City Council members fizzled when the group was unable to gather enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot by the Sunday, Feb. 18 deadline.

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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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From left, Mayor Rusty Bailey, Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mac Arthur, City Manager John Russo and City Attorney Gary Geuss. A weekly planning meeting didn’t happen Monday, Feb. 12, when Bailey’s colleagues did not attend. (File photos)

By Ryan Hagen | rhagen@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: February 12, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Updated: February 12, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Since before Rusty Bailey was elected Riverside mayor in 2012, the city’s top officials — the mayor, city manager, city attorney, city clerk and mayor pro tem — have met nearly every Monday in what they call the Teamwork and Communication meeting.

But Monday, Feb. 12, everyone but Bailey refused to attend.

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It has not yet been publicly divulged whether either will substantiate the accusations against City Manager Gabriel Elliott or Mayor Rich Kerr.

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
@DP_Shea
Posted:    Feb 12, 2018 at 5:10 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 at 5:10 PM

ADELANTO — Separate sexual harassment investigations into the city’s highest-ranking administrator and top public official have been completed, with written reports on each expected “imminently,” a city official said Monday.

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Calpensions: When do CalPERS rates become ‘unsustainable’?

By Ed Mendel
Monday, February 12, 2018

The use of the word “unsustainable” had a distant echo this month as the League of California Cities issued a study of CalPERS rates, a move to get stronger local options for controlling rising pension costs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By Dan Walters | Feb. 4, 2018 | Commentary

From one end of California to the other, hundreds of cities are facing a tsunami of pension costs that officials say is forcing them to reduce vital services and could drive some—perhaps many—into functional insolvency or even bankruptcy.

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By John Myers
Feb. 1, 2018 – 3:53 p.m.

Citing limited options for raising local taxes, the association representing hundreds of California cities warned that rising public employee pension costs might mean fewer services and longer emergency response times over the next several years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Clifford Young, president of the board of directors for the West Valley Water District in Rialto, during a recent interview.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: January 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Updated: January 17, 2018 at 11:30 pm

A lawsuit accusing a Rialto water district’s board president of improper hiring and spending backs the accounts of current and former top administrators who were placed on leave and are under investigation after speaking out.

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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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By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: January 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Updated: January 9, 2018 at 6:06 am

Riverside County’s $161 million savings could plummet to $8 million if costs aren’t cut, according to a new county staff report.

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Adelanto Mayor Rich Kerr (Courtesy photo)

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

Adelanto City Manager Gabriel Elliott’s recent allegations that Mayor Rich Kerr and two councilmembers repeatedly broke the law and violated the city charter echo allegations by three former longtime employees who are suing the city for wrongful termination.

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The Sun: Sexual harassment allegations are trumped up, Adelanto city manager says

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By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: January 3, 2018 at 6:46 pm | UPDATED: January 3, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Adelanto City Manager Gabriel Elliott denies allegations by former city employees that he sexually harassed them, saying he believes they are trumped up, designed to embarrass him, and that Mayor Rich Kerr is likely behind it.

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InlandPolitics: San Bernardino County cash reserves north of $400 million

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – 12:00 a.m.

San Bernardino County, California is sporting a healthy budget reserve in its current fiscal year.

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Michael Smolens
December 29, 2017 – 05:00 a.m.

In the past few years, local taxpayers have saved a lot of money.

For those getting water from the Sweetwater Authority, it was $2.7 million.

In the Carlsbad Unified School District, folks saved $10.2 million.

And in San Diego, it was a whopping $323 million.

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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 trial witness Adam Aleman sentenced to 6 months in jail

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

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

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

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The Sun: 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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InlandPolitics: Got San Bernardino County corruption info? — We Want it!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 02:00 p.m.

If you, our readers, have any information pertaining to corruption in San Bernardino County, then we want to hear from you!

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

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

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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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Calpensions: Another court setback for protectors of pensions

Ed Mendel
April 17, 2016

In another ruling allowing pension cuts, an appeals court last week overturned a state labor board ruling that a voter-approved San Diego pension reform was invalid because the city declined to bargain the issue with labor unions.

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Daily Press: Amid dissonance, Gomez searches for voice

By Monica Solano and Shea Johnson, Staff Writers
Posted:     Apr 15, 2017 at 4:32 PM
Updated:  Apr 15, 2017 at 4:32 PM

  • Not since 2012, the second full year in office for former Victorville City Councilwoman Angela Valles, has the tension in council chambers been so palpable and sparring matches so frequent.

VICTORVILLE — Nearing six months on the dais, neophyte Councilwoman Blanca Gomez first had to upend an incumbent’s re-election bid. But now her election maybe inadvertently threatens another overturn: the recent run of decorum between city leaders.

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The Press-Enterprise: No new supervisor, no meeting for Riverside County board

A video screen contains a tribute to the late Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit.

By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
April 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

The continued lack of a fifth Riverside County supervisor has caused cancellation of a board meeting.

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By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
Published: April 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm |
Updated:   April 11, 2017  at 10:13 am

Cutting 11 jobs and changing the staffing mix on fire engines are two ideas Riverside County supervisors will consider as they try to close an $11.9 million shortfall in the Fire Department’s budget for next fiscal year.

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Developer Jeff Burum, left, speaks with his attorney Stephen Larson in a hallway at the San Bernardino Superior Court. File photo. (Micah Escamilla/San Bernardino Sun)

By Richard K. De Atley, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/06/17 – 2:06 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> A veteran San Bernardino County attorney who had opposed the $102 million settlement with Colonies Partners LP in 2006 told a defense attorney Thursday in court that he had changed his mind by 2009 and thought it was “objectively reasonable.”

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The Sun: Two San Bernardino city officials resign

Night falls on City Hall in downtown San Bernardino in this 2012 file photo. (File)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 03/29/17 – 10:55 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Two high-ranked city officials have announced that they’re leaving City Hall.

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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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