February 21, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

It was recently reported that two San Bernardino officials have been charged with over a dozen felony counts, including bribery and misappropriation of public funds. Former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and former Assistant County Assessor Jim Erwin are accused of accepting $100,000 apiece from land development company Colonies Partners to settle a lawsuit the company filed against the city for $102 million. The lawsuit was filed because the city allegedly failed to make payments for flood control improvements for a development project near Upland.

Postmus is charged with five felony counts, including conspiracy to commit a crime, conflict of interest, misappropriation of public funds, and two counts of accepting a bribe. Erwin is charged with nine felony counts including bribery, misappropriation of public funds, forgery, and two counts each of corrupt influencing and extortion to obtain an official act. Both are awaiting trial on other corruption charges.

According to the charges concerning the lawsuit settlement, prosecutors allege Colonies Partners bribed Erwin with $100,000 to induce other San Bernardino city officials to approve the settlement. Erwin also allegedly made other threats to Postmus in an attempt to blackmail him into voting for the settlement. Postmus allegedly accepted the $100,000 bribe so he could funnel the money into political action committees. The settlement was narrowly approved by county supervisors on a 3-2 vote. The vote was controversial enough that several county attorneys resigned following the vote. The law firm representing the county refused to sign the agreement.

If you or a loved one is accused of bribery or other theft crimes, it is important to contact the experienced Southern California defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience successfully defending those accused of such crimes. Your Wallin & Klarich attorneys will go over your case in great detail and provide you with the best possible defense for your case. Call Wallin & Klarich today at 888-280-6839 or visit www.wklaw.com. We can help you.

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