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View: Petition for Review Prosecutors with the state Attorney General's Office have petitioned the state Supreme Court to reinstate bribery charges against a prominent Rancho Cucamonga developer in a sweeping San Bernardino County corruption case involving the developer and three former county officials. The Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial Vs Tudor Black Bay
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petition was sent out Monday via an overnight courier, which many parties do and is pursuant to the rules of the court, said state Supreme Court clerk Jamie Radock. The petition, which just met the court's filing deadline, asks the court to reconsider an Oct. 31 ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal in the Colonies case. Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum stands accused of conspiring with three former county officials in an alleged bribery and extortion scheme that cost taxpayers $102 million, but in the Oct. 31 ruling the appeals court rejected prosecutors' request to reinstate the bribery charges against Burum. Those charges are vital to the prosecution's case, defense attorneys say. Also charged in the case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for Supervisor Gary Ovitt. All four defendants deny any wrongdoing. Prosecutors say their case has been hampered by California bribery laws they say "failed to develop Omega Speedmaster Orange
alongside evolving national legal standards" and conflict with other court decisions, and that by reviewing the case the state's highest court can provide guidance on those issues. "Although unpublished, this high profile corruption case is being closely watched, and will be used as a benchmark to inform the conduct of both public officials and those seeking to influence them as to what acts they can commit without subjecting themselves to prosecution," they write in an 18 page argument. "In these hard economic times, where local governments are going bankrupt and individuals are struggling to stay afloat financially, California citizens are entitled to local prosecutors fully equipped with all available charging tools to fight against the theft of their tax dollars." This aspect of the legal battle began when San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Brian McCarville sided with defense attorneys by dismissing five of the seven charges against Burum, including the four bribery charges and a charge of misappropriation of public funds. McCarville determined that a person accused of giving bribes cannot also be charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of bribes, which prosecutors have alleged. On appeal to the 4th District Court, prosecutors argued that the law contains Omega Seamaster 300 Wrist Shot no such exemption and that the facts should determine whether such charges are warranted. In its Oct. 31 decision, the appellate court also reinstated the misappropriation of public funds charge against Burum but dismissed a conflict of interest charge McCarville had initially let stand. Burum now stands charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and misappropriation of public funds. The appellate court also reinstated, on request from prosecutors, a charge of misappropriation of public funds against Biane, Kirk and Erwin initially dismissed by McCarville. District Attorney's spokesman Christopher Lee said he could not comment on the matter beyond confirming the petition was filed because the case is pending. A criminal grand jury indicted the four defendants in May 2009 after a month of testimony from more than 40 witnesses. Prosecutors allege the four defendants conspired to secure for Burum's investor group, Colonies Partners LP, a $102 million legal settlement in exchange for bribes. The settlement ended nearly four years of heated legal battle over who was responsible for paying for flood control improvements at a 434 acre commercial and residential development in Upland bankrolled by Colonies Partners. Burum's attorney, Stephen Larson, said his client opposes the prosecutors' petition and is anxious to move forward. "We believe that once we return to the trial court, we will clearly establish that Mr. Burum is innocent of the remaining two charges as a matter of fact and as a matter of law," Larson said. The criminal proceedings remain suspended, and if the Supreme Court chooses to review the appellate court's ruling, it could further delay the criminal proceedings by up to a year, Larson said. Erwin's lawyer, Rajan Maline, said it was time for this aspect of the case to end and for prosecutors to present their evidence on the other alleged crimes. "The case is pretty much over if they can't even write out a legal cause of action against someone," Maline said. "That's that. They've already been told twice now that their Omega Speedmaster Ck2998
Colonies corruption case goes to state Supreme Court for consideration
indictment is deficient on those counts. Now they're doing the equivalent, if you're a football fan, of a Hail Mary pass." Prosecutors say the legal rules previous courts have relied on in saying Burum can't be charged with both bribery and aiding and abetting bribery particularly one known as Wharton's Rule conflict with other sections of the law. "California's application of Wharton's Rule to bribery charges conflicts with every federal court that has considered the issue, which unanimously conclude Wharton's Rule does not apply to bribery," they say.
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