Today, in a surprise development the California Supreme Court has requested briefing related to a Petition for Review filed by former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin.

On December 10, 2009, Erwin filed an appeal of Superior Court Judge Duke Rouse’s denial of an evidentiary hearing to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to disqualify the San Bernardino County District Attorney from prosecuting the case against him.

The appeal was summarily denied by the Fourth District Court of Appeals last Friday.

The State’s high court has requested responses from the California Attorney General and the San Bernardino County District Attorney by January 12, 2010.

The petition may still be denied after full briefing to the court.

A ruling is expected on or before February 19, 2010.