Published: 20 April 2012 11:42 AM

A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge agreed Friday to lift bail for three former county officials and a developer facing corruption charges.

Judge Michael Smith agreed to allow the four men to remain free on their own recognizance as the case continues to remain in the pre-trial stage almost a year after the defendants were indicted.

Last May, a grand jury charged Colonies Partners co-managing partner Jeff Burum, former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff to Supervisor Gary Ovitt, with conspiracy and bribery-related charges.

They are accused of taking part in a conspiracy that led to a $102 million settlement paid by the county to Burum’s company in November 2006.

Burum’s defense attorney Stephen Larson argued that the defendants have proven they are not a flight risk with their regular appearances in court over the past year.

“These defendants have demonstrated they are very vigorously dedicated to staying here and proving their innocence,” he said.

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