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San Bernardino County assessor arrested on drug charges

January 15, 2009 | 11:07 am

Post After months of investigation, San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus was arrested this morning on charges that include possession of methamphetamine, the district attorney’s office said.

More than 50 investigators searched numerous locations in the Inland Empire and Orange County to collect evidence against the embattled assessor, who recently said he had battled and overcome drug addiction. Authorities found illegal drugs inside Postmus’ Rancho Cucamonga home, according to a press release put out by the district attorney's office. He was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, a felony, and possession of paraphernalia for unlawful use, a misdemeanor.

Postmus, 37, has been under a cloud since April, when investigators raided his office and seized computers and files. They later charged Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman with six felonies that included falsifying documents and destroying public records.

A month later, a grand jury report criticized the assessor for hiring inexperienced employees, using staff to do political work during office hours and misusing a tuition reimbursement plan.

There were also persistent rumors that Postmus was addicted to drugs. He appeared before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors recently and admitted he had a prior drug problem; he said he had beaten it and apologized for past "mistakes." He also vowed not to seek reelection when his term expired in 2011.

The D.A.’s investigation is continuing, said district attorney spokeswoman Susan Mickey.

-- David Kelly

Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times