Seized files to be returned to Burum

In a rare move, federal prosecutors have agreed to return materials to a Rancho Cucamonga developer that were seized in September as part of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the $102 million lawsuit settlement between Colonies Partners LP and San Bernardino County.

The materials were seized by FBI agents serving search warrants at the offices and home of developer Jeff Burum, Colonies co-managing partner, and looking into alleged bribery and conspiracy related to the landmark 2006 settlement.

Stephen Larson, Burum’s attorney and a former federal judge, argued in the days after the Sept. 15 search that agents erred by taking documents and other materials not covered under the warrant.
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Man claiming to the Jim Morrison’s son turns down prosecutor’s deal in robbery trial

By Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/28/2011 06:05:18 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – A man claiming to be the son of famed Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison denied a prosecutor’s offer to significantly lower his prison time on a robbery charge Friday.

Clifford Morrison, 42, could get 75 years to life if he is found guilty of robbery and ramming a police car during a chase early last year in Ontario.

San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Dinah Touny said she would take the life sentence off the table, and Morrison could have 15 years with an “end date.”

“We offered again today, on the record,” Touny said during the hearing. “It had been conveyed to the defendant’s attorney… and his attorney indicated that he was not interested.”
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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.
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Seven deny murder charges in death of Montclair man

By Will Bigham, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/23/2011 03:16:18 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Seven people have pleaded not guilty to murder and other criminal charges in connection with the alleged kidnapping and killing of a 22-year-old Montclair man.

Erick Estuardo Cate’s body was found Tuesday in the area of the 15 and 8 freeways in San Diego. He was reported missing Oct. 12 from the 2400 block of West Arrow Route in Upland.

Prosecutors filed three felonies – murder, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon – against each of the seven people suspected of participating in Cate’s alleged killing.
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Attorney: Former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin civil rights violated

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/17/2011 02:19:00 PM PDT

The attorney defending former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin in a sweeping corruption probe is alleging that an FBI search of Erwin’s home was flawed and that Erwin’s civil rights were violated.

A motion filed by attorney Rajan Maline in U.S. District Court in Riverside on Oct. 11 is the second to be filed in the last three weeks challenging the strength of the Sept. 15 FBI raid in connection with an investigation into the county’s $102 million legal settlement with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP in November 2006.

On Oct. 3, attorney Stephen Larson, who represents Colonies’ co-managing partner Jeff Burum, filed a motion with the court alleging Burum’s civil rights were violated and FBI agents essentially lied to him and in an official court document, tainting the search altogether.
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