CORRUPTION PROBE

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San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos and California Attorney General Jerry Brown say in a criminal complaint the county’s $102 million settlement with Colonies Partners was obtained through bribery and extortion.

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and reach a tentative $77 million settlement. The county's lawyers respond with a memo that says the deal raises too many questions. The settlement is not approved by the full Board of Supervisors.

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March 2002: Colonies Partners sues San
Bernardino County over flood-control easements on the company's 434-acre residential and commercial development in Upland.

November 2006: In a 3-2 vote, San
Bernardino County supervisors approve a $102 million settlement with Colonies. The county pays the company $22 million in cash and issues $80 million in bonds to pay for the rest. Postmus, Biane and Supervisor Gary Ovitt vote in favor of the settlement. Supervisor Josie Gonzales and then-Supervisor Dennis Hansberger vote no.

September 2003: A San Bernardino
County judge rules in favor of Colonies Partners. The county appeals.

July 2005: An appellate court orders a
new trial.

February 2005: An appellate court issues
a tentative ruling favoring San Bernardino County.

April 2006: A new trial begins. July 2006: San Bernardino County
Superior Court Judge Christopher Warner issues a tenative ruling in favor of Colonies Partners.

January 2007: Colonies Partners begins
donating to political action committees with ties to the three supervisors who supported the settlement. The donations eventually total more than $400,000.

March 2005: Then-Supervisor Bill
Postmus and Supervisor Paul Biane, without lawyers, negotiate with Colonies

COLONIES DONATIONS:

San Bernardino County Young Republicans
Received $100,000 from Colonies

Committee for Effective Government
Received $100,000 from Colonies

Alliance for Ethical Government
Received $100,000 from Colonies

Inland Empire PAC
Received $93,455 from Colonies

According to Wednesday's complaint, some of the donations Colonies Partners made to political action committees after the settlement were in exchange for supervisors' votes. Here is a look at how the PACs spent some of the Colonies donations over the next couple of years.
SOURCES: CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY REGISTRAR OF VOTERS, COLONIES PARTNERS, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

PAC's largest contribution is $40,000 to San Bernardino County Taxpayers Association

PAC spends $34,000 in political contributions, including $13,000 to Citizens Anti-Crime Committee

San Bernardino County Taxpayers Association spends $157,951 in support of then-Supervisor Dennis Hansberger's unsuccessful 2008 re-election campaign.

Citizens Anti-Crime Committee supports local candidates across the state and provides $30,467 in support of Neil Derry’s 2008 campaign for supervisor.

PAC's spending includes $13,000 to Ontario Mayor Paul Leon and $12,000 to Supervisor Gary Ovitt. The PAC also pays $20,000 in consulting fees to Ovitt Chief of Staff Mark Kirk, $5,500 in fees to Ovitt aide Anthony Riley, and $5,000 in fees to Ovitt aide Brian Johsz.

The PAC donates heavily to a host of local candidates. Donations include $77,000 to Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, $50,000 to thenAssessor Bill Postmus, $13,000 to Neil Derry and $12,000 to Supervisor Paul Biane. The PAC also gives $5,000 to the San Bernardino County Taxpayers Association.

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