Dave Ellis subpoenaed in his favorite watering hole, Newport Beach’s Gulfstream!

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Mr. Toad, not having as much fun as usual. (Delta Partners IS Dave Ellis.)

As Fairgrounds activists campaign to have the reprehensible Dave Ellis removed from the Orange County Fair Board, and as Ellis relishes the dirty work of smearing our friend Tony Bushala in order to scare Fullerton residents out of voting to recall their useless “Three Blind Mice” councilmen, a most enjoyable early Christmas present has come our way from the smoggy Inland Empire:  Dave Ellis has been subpoenaed for communications – e-mails, phone records, letters – in relation to the ever-metastasizing “Colonies” scandal up there.  And next week or sooner, you lucky Orange Juice readers will have the first public glance at these gems of sleaze.

Most sweetly, this subpoena was served right when he was in the middle of partying with his friends at his favorite bar (where he can evidently be found most nights) – Newport Beach’s Gulfstream.

The “Colonies” scandal?  Yes, it’s been the talk of the town for a year up in San Bernardino County and is bringing down a lot of powerful people, but I realize down here in the OC most of us haven’t heard of it, so I’ll give a quick rundown below.

But first:  yes, my main source is Jim Erwin, who is one of the defendants in the case.  And anonymous commenters are going to call Erwin a scumbag here, and me a scumbag for listening to him.  I know he’s been accused of major corruption in the Inland Empire and for all I know he’s guilty.  But I do know three things:

  1. Jim Erwin is not in my county.
  2. Jim Erwin never tried to steal my Fairgrounds.
  3. Jim Erwin is not busy at this very moment creating sleazy glossy mailers lying about my friend Tony Bushala to protect the enablers of Kelly Thomas’ murder.

Enough?

The Colonies Partners Scandal

Golden State Liberty” has a more detailed summary of the slimy 2005-7 events if you want to get into the weeds.  Basically, a real estate company, “Colonies Partners,” wishing to overturn a previous decision against them by the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors and having only one Supe on their side, managed to allegedly bribe (and also allegedly blackmail) two other Supes for a majority to award them a whopping $102 million.   Now facing bribery charges are Colonies owner Jeff Burum and Colonies consultant / assistant county assessor Jim Erwin;  and facing charges of receiving bribes are former Supervisor Paul Biane and former Supe Chief of Staff Mark Kirk.

San Bernardino DA Mike Ramos plots his next move.

Nothing much happened in San Bernardino County politics this decade, however, without our own Dave Ellis being involved.  Political adviser, consultant, and campaign manager to hinky District Attorney Mike Ramos and Sheriff Rod Hoops, his activities during the interim between the alleged bribery and this year’s proceedings apparently fall somewhere between damage control and cover-up.

After eventually throwing his former close associates Erwin and Burum “under the bus,” as they see it, Ellis has now been forced to hand over all his communications of that period, communications with Erwin, Burum, AG Ramos, and his ever-present sidekick Brett Granlund – e-mails, phone records, and letters.  And from what I understand, these records appear to show a pattern of misconduct and collusion, and should also be very rude, spicy and ribald.

This post is only a teaser.  In a week or so we will sort through these documents and share the best of them – the most entertaining, outrageous, and incriminating ones –  with you Orange Juice readers.  Till then, Happy Holidays!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.