Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/18/2010 03:31:52 PM PST

The California Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal from former San Bernardino County assistant assessor Jim Erwin to hear his motion to recuse District Attorney Michael A. Ramos from his criminal case.

Erwin’s attorney, Alan Yockelson, said Thursday he had just returned from a trip to New Orleans and needed time to consult with Erwin before deciding on whether they’ll appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his motion, Erwin alleges a number of conflicts of interest with Ramos. He alleges Ramos launched a politically motivated attack in response to his and Supervisor Neil Derry’s push for pay cuts for county prosecutors and eliminating take-home vehicles for district attorney investigators.

Erwin served as Derry’s chief of staff prior to his March 19, 2009, arrest on suspicion of failing to report about $15,000 worth of gifts he received from Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum in January 2007.

Erwin also alleges Ramos is pursuing legal action because Erwin has knowledge of multiple affairs Ramos had with women in his office and other associates.

“We … are gratified that the Supreme Court found that there was no basis that either the District Attorney’s office or the Attorney General’s Office were basing their decision on anything but the facts,” said Susan Mickey, district attorney spokeswoman.

In August, Ramos requested the Attorney General’s Office assist in its corruption investigations of the Assessor’s Office and a $102 million legal settlement in 2006 between the county and Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners, in which Jeff Burum is a co-managing partner.

In December, the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside rejected Erwin’s appeal. In November, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Duke Rouse rejected Erwin’s recusal motion and request for an evidentiary hearing, finding that the motion was based largely on hearsay and speculation.

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