Burum attorney argues DA has conflict of interest in corruption case

Alleging a conflict of interest exists, the attorney for Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum wants the district attorney recused from prosecuting his client.

The alleged conflict stems from conversations the pair had before conspiracy charges were filed against Burum, said attorney Stephen Larson.

Larson also said Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court that District Attorney Michael A. Ramos had appointed Burum to his advisory committee.

The relationship between the pair, says Larson, results in a conflict for Ramos in the prosecution of Burum.
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DA to bulk up on cold-case, environmental prosecutions

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/30/2008 09:39:05 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – Despite a tight budget, District Attorney Michael A. Ramos said he plans to expand a few key areas of his office, including the Cold Case Unit and environmental- fraud prosecution, with existing resources in 2009.

Like other San Bernardino County department leaders, Ramos has had to find ways to address a growing list of needs with manpower he already has in a tough economic environment. Adding more people isn’t an option.

Ramos announced a hiring freeze three weeks ago but has avoided layoffs, he said in a telephone interview last week. Nevertheless, the county’s top prosecutor believes he already has the people to tackle new goals in the new year.
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San Bernardino County predatory lending defendants in court Tuesday

The alleged ringleader and four other defendants charged in a statewide predatory lending scheme are scheduled to appear Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court to confirm whether a preliminary hearing will be conducted two days later.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors will present testimony and evidence to the court to support the charges that have been filed against 26-year-old Eric Michael Pony, his sister Paulette Pony, 24, both of Tarzana, and two others. A judge will then decide whether sufficient evidence exists to hold the defendants over for trial.

The preliminary hearing is currently set for Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

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