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Postmus case referred to Riverside County Probation Department for pre-sentencing report

By in Press Enterprise on October 27, 2017

By Joe Nelson

The lawyer for Bill Postmus, former assessor and San Bernardino County supervisor, has asked a Superior Court judge to refer his client’s case to the probation department.

Postmus, a key witness in the San Bernardino County-Colonies bribery trial, was scheduled for a sentencing hearing today before Judge Michael Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Smith said the matter will be referred to the Riverside County Probation Department for the preparation of a pre-sentencing report prior to Postmus’ sentencing.

Postmus, 46, of Hesperia, is scheduled to return to court Jan. 19 for a hearing on the probation report and sentencing.

Postmus’ attorney, Stephen Levine, had said in an earlier telephone interview that he had met with prosecutor Lewis Cope and the judge on Tuesday. Levine said it was likely that the disposition of Postmus’ case will be referred to the Riverside County Probation Department, which would review the matter and make a recommendation to Smith.

That’s to avoid a potential conflict of interest, given that Postmus at one time was among those who controlled the county purse strings as former Board of Supervisors chairman, Levine said.

Per a plea agreement with prosecutors, Postmus pleaded guilty in March 2011 to 15 felonies in connection with corruption scandals at the Assessor’s Office and involving a $102 million legal settlement between the county and a Rancho Cucamonga investor group in November 2006, when Postmus was chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

Postmus agreed to testify against four defendants in connection with the 2006 settlement, which prosecutors alleged was tainted by bribery. The settlement ended a longstanding court battle over flood control improvements at investor group Colonies Partners’ more than 400-acre residential and commercial development in Upland.

But Postmus’ testimony at trial conflicted with what he testified to before a grand jury in April 2011, […]    

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