gavel

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 01/29/14, 6:53 PM PST | Updated: 2 hrs ago

A San Bernardino Superior Court judge today is expected to schedule a date to hear dismissal motions filed by a defense attorney in the Colonies corruption case.

It is also anticipated that Judge Michael A. Smith will set dates for prosecutors to respond to the dismissal motions and for defense attorneys to counter the response by prosecutors, said attorney Stephen Larson, who represents defendant Jeffrey Burum, a Rancho Cucamonga developer, in the case.

Larson filed four motions on Monday seeking dismissal of the sweeping corruption case alleging Burum bribed and blackmailed three former county officials in order to secure a landmark $102 million legal settlement from the county on behalf of his real estate investor group, Colonies Partners LP.

Also charged in the case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor and labor union president Jim Erwin, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt. All four defendants deny any wrongdoing.

Per a plea agreement with prosecutors, Bill Postmus, a former county supervisor and former county assessor, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to 15 felonies in connection with the Colonies case and a companion corruption case in which he was accused of using his elected office of assessor for political gain.

Postmus admitted to taking a $100,000 bribe from Burum in exchange for his vote approving the Nov. 28, 2006, settlement and agreed to testify against the four defendants in exchange for leniency.

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