Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/01/2010 07:35:04 PM PDT
Former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus told his second lieutenant, Adam Aleman, that he planned to launder profits from his land investments through his real estate company, according to court testimony Monday.
Hollis “Bud” Randles, a senior investigator with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, said Postmus told Aleman that he planned to launder the money either through Artisan Land Consultants or through his father. He planned to use the money for campaign contributions, Randles said.
Postmus co-owned Artisan Land Consultants with John “Dino” DeFazio, who was arrested in February and charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the Grand Jury last October about a political action committee prosecutors allege was secretly controlled by Postmus.
Defense attorneys were quick to admonish prosecutors.
“I remember reading the discovery in this case, and I don’t ever remember ever seeing the word `launder’ in there,” said Stanley Hodge, who is representing former taxpayer advocate Gregory Eyler, 34 – Postmus’ ex-boyfriend – who is also charged in the case. “Now we’re going to charge people with more crimes based on super secret interviews with a person who is the subject of a plea bargain.”
Randles said the word “launder” may have been a word he used, not Aleman, and that such information may not have been included in legal documents.
Postmus said Monday that the latest allegations were “just more lies from the D.A.’s Office and their agent Adam Aleman.”
Aleman, 27, pleaded no contest last year to four felony counts as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. He is cooperating with authorities in exchange for a lighter sentence, to be determined by a judge.
Postmus, 39, and Eyler are charged with multiple felony counts including grand theft and public officer crimes stemming from a scandal that hit the Assessor’s Office in 2008. Prosecutors allege Postmus sought the elected office so he could set up and run a political operation at taxpayer expense.
Postmus faces additional drug and perjury charges. His attorney, Stephen Levine, said if prosecutors wanted to present such information during the fourth day of a preliminary hearing, they should have provided that information, word-for-word, to the defense so they could adequately prepare.
Deputy District Attorney Lewis Cope said the evidence was introduced in an effort to counter an argument made by Levine that a $12,000 cashier’s check found in Postmus’ vehicle during a search actually was made out to Postmus’ father, who has the same first name but a different middle initial.
Prosecutors allege Postmus broke the law by failing to report that $12,000 as income on state disclosure forms.
On Friday, Randles revealed that Aleman secretly recorded conversations he had with Postmus for prosecutors using a handheld voice recorder.
Levine said prosecutors never told him of the covert recordings, and they weren’t turned over in the discovery process. He said the recordings could be the subject of a federal civil rights action as well as a motion to dismiss charges if Postmus is held to answer.
To read entire story, click here.