Jim Steinberg,Staff Writer
Posted: 11/29/2012 07:56:12 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – Many described him as the “hardest working attorney” they had ever known.

He was a legend in redevelopment law, they said, and he astounded others in his total recall of events that happened many years ago.

Timothy J. Sabo, who was the legal architect for the redevelopment of the former Norton Air Force Base, died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

He was 65.

He was a brilliant lawyer, said Redlands Attorney John Mirau. He started out as a bond counsel. But he was also an expert in redevelopment, Mirau said.

“He had been a key legal advisor to the city of San Bernardino long before the closing of the base,” said Mirau, who knew Sabo for 25 years both as an opposing counsel and a co-counsel.

“He was key to negotiations with the Air Force and in additional to legal knowledge, was very savvy about how to get things done,” Mirau said.

San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris also praised Sabo for his leadership.

“He led us through the twists and turns of the development of the airport,” Morris said.

The resulting logistics center that is there “is a tribute to his drafting talents as a lawyer … . His passing saddens me deeply,” Morris said. “This is a great loss to the community, the city and the Inland Valley Development Agency.”

Sabo could recall circumstances and events that go back decades, Morris said.

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