SAN BERNARDINO >> Former San Bernardino County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger took the witness stand Wednesday as the primary witness referred to as by prosecutors in San Bernardino County’s Colonies corruption trial.
Hansberger was considered one of two county supervisors who voted towards the controversial $102 million settlement between the county and Upland investor group Colonies Companions LP in November 2006.
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The settlement, which prosecutors allege was tainted by bribery and which District Lawyer Mike Ramos referred to as the most important public corruption case his workplace has ever prosecuted, ended an almost 5-yr authorized battle over who was chargeable for paying for and constructing flood management enhancements at Colonies’ 434-acre residential and business improvement in Upland, Colonies at San Antonio and Colonies Crossroads, respectively.
Hansberger served on the Board of Supervisors first from 1972 to 1980, then from 1996 to 2008, when he was defeated by Neil Derry, a former San Bernardino metropolis councilman who has additionally been subpoenaed to testify on the trial, anticipated to final six months.
Hansberger and Supervisor Josie Gonzales voted towards the settlement. Hansberger, whose expertise in land use points dates again to the late Nineteen Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies when he labored for Third District Supervisor Donald Beckord, persistently voted “no” on each settlement proposal through the almost 5 years of civil litigation, which spanned from March 2002 till November 2006, when the settlement was reached.
Gonzales persistently voted in favor of settling, however modified her place the month of the settlement.
Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum stands accused of paying a complete of $four hundred,000 in bribes to former Board of Supervisors Chairman Invoice Postmus, former county Supervisor Paul Biane, Mark Kirk, former chief of employees for former county Supervisor Gary Ovitt, and former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin in change for them voting in favor of or facilitating the controversial Colonies settlement.
A grand jury indicted Burum, Biane, Kirk and Erwin in Might 2011. All 4 defendants deny any wrongdoing and have maintained their innocence from the outset.
In March 2011, Postmus, initially a focused defendant within the case, struck a plea settlement with prosecutors. He pleaded responsible to 10 felonies in reference to the Colonies case and a companion corruption case through which he was convicted of abusing his elected workplace of assessor for political achieve.
Postmus admitted taking a $one hundred,000 bribe from Burum, and has agreed to testify towards the defendants at trial in change for all however two of the fees towards him being dropped.
The protection camp maintains the prosecution was politically motivated, introduced throughout an election yr for Ramos, who in 2010 efficiently campaigned for a 3rd time period as district lawyer.
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