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High Desert real estate developer’s perjury case last tie to ill-fated Colonies corruption case

By in Press Enterprise on November 10, 2017

By Joe Nelson

High Desert real estate developer John “Dino” DeFazio, the last defendant tied to the ill-fated Colonies bribery case that ended in acquittal for three defendants and dismissal of all charges against a fourth defendant, is due in court Dec. 1 for a pretrial hearing.

DeFazio, 57, of Apple Valley, is charged with six felony counts of perjury in connection with his October 2009 testimony before a grand jury in the Colonies case, which ended in September after all charges were dismissed against former county assistant assessor Jim Erwin.

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The judge dismissed the case after Erwin’s jury announced it was hopelessly deadlocked. Prosecutor Lewis Cope told Judge Michael A. Smith that his team did not wish to retry Erwin due to unresolvable witness problems that arose during trial.

Those problems included the testimony of former county assessor and Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Postmus and his former assistant assessor, Adam Aleman, both of whom testified as witnesses for the prosecution.

Their testimony backfired on prosecutors. Defense attorneys destroyed Aleman’s credibility on the witness stand after he admitted to lying to the grand jury, and Postmus testified he never felt bribery was behind a $102 million […]    

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