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Erwin jury finishes third full day of deliberations in Colonies trial

By in Press Enterprise on August 31, 2017

By Richard DeAtley

Jurors are scheduled to resume deliberations Thursday for the lone remaining Colonies corruption case defendant after ending a third full day of talks Wednesday without verdicts on the charges against former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin.

The panel has sent questions to Judge Michael A. Smith, but there has been no indication of any resolution of the case. The jury is scheduled to meet through Friday. The panel met for a few hours last week as well.

Erwin is named in seven counts, two each of aiding in the receipt of a bribe and aiding in the solicitation of a bribe, plus one count of intentionally failing to file his 2008 state tax return and two counts of perjury.

The case, tried for nearly 8 months, focused on a 2006 San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors agreement to settle for $102 million a civil court land-use dispute with developer Colonies Partners LP of Rancho Cucamonga.

Investigators said the agreement was the result of bribes, but on Monday three of the defendants — Colonies co-managing partner Jeff Burum, former Supervisor Paul Biane, and Mark Kirk, a former chief of staff for onetime Supervisor Gary Ovitt — were acquitted of all charges. Their case was heard by a separate jury.

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