San Bernardino County to Pay $65M in Colonies Case

Cars on highway

San Bernardino County (“County”) will pay Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeffrey Burum and his Colonies Partners investor group $65 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Mr. Burum in 2018 that alleged malicious prosecution, the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reported following the joint statement released by the County and Mr. Burum’s attorney, partner Stephen G. Larson.

The article explained the history of the case, starting with how “prosecutors had alleged Burum conspired with top county officials to fix a $102 million settlement in 2006, in favor of Colonies Partners, to settle a longstanding legal dispute over flood-control easements at the developer’s Upland residential and commercial development, Colonies at San Antonio and Colonies Crossroads, respectively.”

“The case ended in acquittal for Burum, former county supervisor Paul Biane, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for former county supervisor Gary Ovitt. Prosecutors subsequently dropped all charges against former Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin. Jurors described the trial as a ‘boondoggle,'” the article summarized.

Now, the “$65 million reflects the claims and damages, including losses and out-of-pocket costs, incurred by Burum and Colonies Partners in what they said was a retaliatory investigation and prosecution of Burum,” the article reported from the joint statement.

Read the full article by Joe Nelson and Brian Rokos of The Press-Enterprise/Southern California News Group (covering the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin) here


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