Judge OKs Trial Against San Bernardino County

Cars on highway

U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal denied a request by San Bernardino County to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Larson O’Brien client Jeffrey Burum alleging malicious prosecution in a nearly decade-long public corruption case that ended in his acquittal, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

“While the court’s decision means the complaint by developer Jeff Burum will likely be heard by a jury in September, the judge dismissed nearly all claims filed by others who were charged or implicated in the long-running Colonies [Partners] investigation,” the article stated.

Partner Stephen G. Larson praised the ruling by Judge Bernal on behalf of Larson O’Brien’s clients, saying, “It’s a huge victory for Jeff Burum and the Colonies Partners. This was about the political ruin of Jeff Burum.”

In Larson LLP’s press release on July 29, Stephen said Judge Bernal found “ample evidence supporting a trial on specific claims for First Amendment retaliation, fabrication of evidence, malicious prosecution, and conspiracy to deny civil rights, among others.”

Judge Bernal cited emails and statements from former District Attorney Michael Ramos and former Assistant District Attorney Jim Hackleman in rejecting the county’s motion to dismiss, noting that, “Hackleman emailed Ramos and others, stating that the overriding objective was to ‘absolutely ruin Burum as a political operator.'” Judge Bernal decided to allow the evidence in and let a jury decide Mr. Ramos’s and Mr. Hackleman’s motives.

“We look forward to questioning Mr. Ramos, other county leaders, and prosecutors in a public trial where their spiteful motivations and wrongdoing will be laid bare,” Stephen stated. 

Along with Stephen, partners Kori L. Bell, Steven E. Bledsoe, and Jonathan E. Phillips are on the Larson LLP team representing Mr. Burum and Colonies Partners. 

Read the full article by Joe Nelson of the San Bernardino Sun covering the order here


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