By Sandra Emerson Staff Writer
Created: 06/30/2011 08:16:07 PM PDT

A retired U.S District judge has taken the lead on Rancho Cucamonga-developer Jeff Burum’s defense.

Burum, who was indicted by a grand jury in May, has secured Stephen G. Larson and his Los Angeles-based law firm Arent Fox, to replace John Vandevelde as his lead defense attorney.

“Ive known Jeff and it’s a privilege to represent him,” Larson said. “What I look forward to doing is establishing that Jeff did not bribe anyone for anything. Jeff is a good man who had done a tremendous amount of good for his community.”

A grand jury handed down a 29-count indictment against Burum and three San Bernardino County officials, accusing them of conspiring to reach a $102 million settlement between Burum’s development company, Colonies Partners, LP and the county in exchange for $400,000 in bribes.

The settlement was a result of a five-year battle between the Colonies and the county over flood control facilities on the Colonies property in Upland.

Larson came on board about six months ago but is just now taking the lead on the case.

Vandevelde will continue to work on Burum’s defense.

Larson said there will not be a fundamental change in the makeup of Burum’s defense team, just a change in leadership.

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