Late last week, FBI agents raided Jim Brulte’s home and lobbying office in connection to a corruption probe regarding the $102 million legal settlement between Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP and San Bernardino County in 2006.
Prosecutors have been investigating the settlement, which they say was obtained through a conspiracy of bribery and extortion. Brulte, one of the most influential Republicans in Southern California and currently a lobbyist with the firm California Strategies, is also a former assemblyman and state senator who led both GOP caucuses while in office.
Already, former Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Postmus admitted accepting a $100,000 bribe from Colonies executive Jeff Burum. Prosecutors allege that the Colonies Partners’ lobbying strategy manipulated the San Bernardino County Taxpayers Association, the San Bernardino Young Republicans, and other bribes were made in connection to the settlement.
Although he has not been charged with a crime, the FBI raid on Brulte raises questions about his role as lobbyist working for Colonies Partners.