Corruption in San Bernardino County bubbles up again




In a joint press conference of San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and State Attorney General Jerry Brown, indictments and arrests of two well known politicos in San Bernardino County were announced, along with a list of unnamed co-conspirators, signaling that the ongoing investigation will deliver more people to the scales of justice.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and State Attorney General Jerry Brown announce indictments

Attorney General Jerry Brown called the situation in San Bernardino County one of the most the most appalling corruption cases in decades, certainly in the history of San Bernardino and maybe California itself, according to a story in the San Bernardino Press-Enterprise.

Brown and Ramos both stated that the taxpayers of San Bernardino County were defrauded by more than $ 100 million.

The two people indicted are well known in Inland Empire Republican politics: Bill Postmas, former County Supervisor and County Assessor and Jim Erwin, former Assistant to the Assessor and former Chief of Staff to a County Supervisor. According to an article in the San Bernardino Press-Enterprise they are charged with bribery, conspiracy and extortion. They are accused of being part of a conspiracy that resulted in the Board of Supervisors approving a $102 million lawsuit settlement with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners in November 2006.

These same two Inland Empire politicos were arrested and charged last year on numerous charges related to the Colonies Partners and the Colonies development in Upland and are awaiting trial on those charges. They were out on bail until these latest charges prompted their new arrest.

Postmas has in the past admitted a drug problem, so it was probably no surprise that when arrested methamphetamine was found on him. Drug charges are also expected to be issued.

The Press-Enterprise reported these additional tidbits:

• Five unnamed co-conspirators are described as a county supervisor, two partners in the Colonies Partnership and a chief of staff to a current county supervisor., a media consultant to the Colonies Partnership,
• Both Colonies Partners helped fund the opposition to the county’s successful Measure P that imposed term limits for San Bernardino County Supervisors.
• One of the Colonies Partners signed a check for $100,000 to the San Bernardino County Young Republicans political action committee (PAC). The PAC then funneled money into campaigns regarding the term limit initiative and paid “consultant fees” to at least one of the unnamed co-conspirators.

Sure sounds like a mess in the great IE. With the District Attorney stating the investigation continues it is probably a good bet that the unnamed co-conspirators will eventually be named in the filing of additional charges in the not too distant future. You can bet that some of them are seeking a plea deal with the District Attorney right now.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.