Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 11:00 p.m.
Last updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 – 07:55 a.m.
Once again, could the conspiracy angle in the second trial of former San Bernardino County Assessor employee and Rancho Cucamonga city councilman Rex Gutierrez be problematic to the prosecution?
It sure seems plausible.
The jury in the case enters its fifth day of deliberations on Wednesday morning. Obviously there are issues, if the duration of the aforementioned deliberations is any indication.
A plausible problem here? The jury was never actually presented with proof of any conspiracy involving a preconceived arrangement.
If they did, it sure looks like everyone following along missed it.
District Attorney Michael Ramos has been to determined to wrap some kind of conspiracy around the neck of West End developer Jeffrey Burum. As a matter of fact, it’s more like desperation on one hand and personal animus towards Burum on the other.
In fact, Ramos is desperate for two reasons.
First, Ramos wants to continue to distract attention from his own personal and professional issues. Secondly, Ramos wants nothing more than a successful prosecution of a high-profile public official to use as a springboard to congress or some other higher office.
With the likelihood of proving the alleged conspiracy in the alleged “crime of the century” Colonies settlement being pretty much history. It now looks like another mistrial could possibly be in store for prosecutors. Prosecutors who need a win.
Even if what prosecutors allege never in fact happened.
A person helping another person get a job occurs in this country everyday. It’s not a crime.
But in the Gutierrez case, the people allege the job offer was a part of master scheme or conspiracy to steer a $42.5 million affordable housing grant to a “non-profit” created by the same developer, who made the job ask.
Key word here being “Non-Profit”.
A non-profit from which the aforementioned developer derived no compensation.
My goodness, what a conspiracy.
An alleged conspiracy based upon the testimony of key witness Adam Aleman, a convicted felon, who cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a possible lighter sentence on charges of falsifying evidence and lying to a county grand jury.
Aleman has even changed his characterization of Burum from the first trial to the second trial. In the first trial Aleman said Burum was a person who was “pulling the strings” in the Assessors office. This time Aleman now says Burum is a person who cast a “shadow influence” over San Bernardino County government.
No, you didn’t mis-read. It really does say the word “government”.
What is this Dark Shadows? Aleman needs to become a fiction writer.
The county’s own investigation into the Assessor’s office by Attorney John Hueston found no conspiracy involving the hiring of Gutierrez. Also Hueston was able to interview both Erwin and Burum. The report is obviously an exhibit in the investigation but for some reason was never used.
A very interesting point.
The amazing part about the whole situation is the fact the prosecution employed every roadblock imaginable to prevent key parties in the situation from taking the witness stand. By key parties I mean developer Jeffrey Burum, former Assessor Bill Postmus, and former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin.
By all accounts the three men who have something to say, if it wasn’t for prosecutors refusal to limit their testimony to the issue at hand.
After all, remember there’s that “crime of the century” hanging out there somewhere over the rainbow.
Just remember, it’s usually about the truth. But not always.
Especially when politics is involved.