Judge declines to bar Grand Jury transcripts in San Bernardino County corruption case

Mike Cruz and Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/24/2011 02:55:29 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — A Superior Court judge on Monday declined to bar more than 2,000 pages of Grand Jury transcripts in a criminal corruption probe from being used in a civil case involving the county and three other public entities.

Attorneys representing the county filed a motion with the court in September attempting to block the defendants in an indemnity lawsuit from using the transcripts in its defense. The county sued San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBag), Caltrans and the city of Upland in 2004, seeking to recover any damages that could arise from a separate land rights lawsuit it was engaged in with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP.

The developer sued the county in 2002, arguing the county abandoned its flood control easements and refused to pay for flood control improvements on its 434-acre residential and commercial development in Upland. The county settled with the developer in November 2006 for $102 million, a settlement prosecutors now say was tainted by bribery and conflict of interest.
Continue reading

Riverside jury awards man $11.6M after crash

By Jason Pesick on October 2, 2008 3:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

RIVERSIDE (AP) — A jury awarded a retired attorney $11.6 million after finding that
missing and poorly placed signs were largely to blame for an accident that left him partially paralyzed.

Jurors found Monday that the California Department of Transportation was 90 percent responsible for Cletus Schmidt’s 2006 accident, while he was 10 percent responsible.

Schmidt, 80, is unable to walk but he can move his limbs. He was injured in 2006 when he ran a stop sign at a T-intersection near Joshua Tree National Park and plowed into an embankment.

The intersection did not have a reflective double-arrow sign to indicate the road ended and the stop sign was 42 feet away, said Gary Dordick, Schmidt’s attorney.

Caltrans will likely appeal, said Caltrans legal spokesman Rose Melgoza.