Upland mayor facing 145 years in federal prison
March 3, 2011
The mayor of Upland was indicted for extortion, bribery and conspiracy on Wednesday for demanding $70,000 in bribes from two business owners in exchange for assisting them in obtaining business permits, according to a press release.
John Victor Pomierski, 56, who resigned as mayor last week, is expected to surrender to authorities later today after being named in an 11-count indictment returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury in Riverside.
Both Pomierski and John Edward Hennes, 54, of Upland, who is a member of the Building Appeals Board of Upland, owned building consulting businesses they used to conceal the bribes.
Hennes, the second defendant in the indictment –– was arrested without incident this morning by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If convicted on all charges, Pomierski faces a statutory maximum penalty of 145 years in federal prison and Hennes faces a maximum possible penalty of 50 years in federal prison.
“The public can and should expect honesty and integrity from public officials – standards by which the mayor failed to abide,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The allegations against Mr. Pomierski indicate that he intended to enrich himself by engaging in conduct that tarnishes all public officials.”
Federal prosecutors previously charged Jason Roy Crebs, 37, of Upland, and Anthony Orlando Sanchez, 35, of Rancho Cucamonga, the owners of Venture West Capital, for abetting the demand and receipt of bribes. Court records show that both Crebs and Sanchez have entered into plea agreements, both of which were filed under seal.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received assistance from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.