“The Sun” – 3 of 4 Colonies corruption defendants found not guilty on all charges

August 29, 2017  |   Recent Posts   |     |   Comments Off on “The Sun” – 3 of 4 Colonies corruption defendants found not guilty on all charges

Three of the four defendants in the San Bernardino County-Colonies corruption case were found not guilty of all charges on Monday, after a marathon trial that lasted nearly eight months.

Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum and two former county officials — former Supervisor Paul Biane, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for then-county Supervisor Gary Ovitt — were charged with bribery, conflict of interest and improper influence in an alleged scheme to get county approval of a $102 million court settlement in favor of a developer.  A separate jury for a fourth defendant, former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, continued deliberations on Monday.

According to the Sun:

Jennifer Keller, one of the state’s top white collar criminal defense attorneys and one of Burum’s lawyers, said the jury was able to return so quickly with unanimous verdicts, after a little more than a day of deliberating, because there was no evidence proving the defendants’ guilt.

“Had they had evidence to chew over, real evidence of guilt, or evidence that could even be construed as evidence of guilt, it would have taken them awhile (to deliberate), but there wasn’t any,” Keller said, adding that jurors were particularly troubled by the testimony of former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman, who admitted to lying to the grand jury and authorities,and county Supervisor Josie Gonzales, who was impeached several times regarding a 2006 China trip in which she alleged to have seen Burum, who was not in China at the time and produced a passport to prove it.

READ ARTICLE

Other Posts

  • Jennifer Keller featured in Orange County Business Journal’s “Law Firms Special Report”
    April 9, 2018

    In the recent Orange County Business Journal’s “Law Firms Special Report,” Jennifer Keller was selected to provide her perspective on legal trends in Orange County. The Business Journal’s Peter Brennan asked some of Orange County’s top attorneys for their views.

  • Jennifer Keller selected for prestigious “CLAY Award”
    April 6, 2018

    On March 20, 2018, Jennifer Keller, Stephen Larson and their trial team were honored with a California Lawyer Magazine CLAY Award – California Attorneys of the Year – for their successful defense of San Bernardino County developer Jeff Burum during a nine-month jury trial in 2017.

  • Prosecutors gone wild: San Bernardino County edition
    March 23, 2018

    An article in the March 21,2018 issue of “The Sun” reflected on the San Bernardino County-Colonies corruption case …

  • Jennifer Keller named to list of top “500 Leading Lawyers in America”
    March 19, 2018

    Jennifer Keller has been named to the 2018 “Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.” According to Lawdragon, “the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America is the most elite distinction in the profession, covering all practices.”

  • MassMutual Class Action Trial Ends in Defense Verdict
    March 2, 2018

    A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court found Tuesday that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (“MassMutual”) did not improperly withhold dividends from a class of hundreds of term life insurance policyholders. The jury sided with the insurer and found that the policies in question never generated enough profit to warrant dividends under the policy agreements.