SAN BERNARDINO – A superior court judge rejected a motion on Thursday to dismiss the charges against a county supervisor accused of failing to report campaign contributions.
San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry, 42, pleaded not guilty to the two felony counts and one misdemeanor count he faces. During the politician’s court appearance, Judge Michael Dest set a July 19 court date for Derry to return, plus a tentative preliminary hearing date of July 21.
Derry, who continues to serve on the county Board of Supervisors, remains free on his own recognizance. He is charged with perjury and filing a false report, both felonies, along with a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a campaign contribution.
The allegations brought by the California Attorney General’s Office accuse Derry of laundering campaign contributions during his 2007 supervisorial campaign. An area developer had contributed to the Inland Empire Political Action Committee, but the money diverted toward Derry was not reported.
Former county Assessor Bill Postmus, who pleaded guilty to various felonies back in March, has been cooperating with prosecutors in the Derry case. Meanwhile, District Attorney Mike Ramos has said his own investigation uncovered substantial evidence against Derry and that Postmus’ assistance only supported the charges.
In court on Thursday, Derry’s attorney, George Newhouse, argued that evidence was not sufficient enough to support the charges, but Judge Dest did not agree. Newhouse expressed confidence to various media outlets that the two felony counts will be dismissed at next month’s preliminary hearing.
Derry, a Redlands resident, has had to recuse himself from several votes due to a federal mandate in which agencies might lose federal funding if a member of the agency is facing criminal charges.
Judge Dest also told Derry that he must report to Central Detention Center for booking no later than July 7.