Former Upland mayor sentenced for taking bribes

August 6, 2012

The former mayor of Upland was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison for his conviction on a federal bribery charge stemming from a $5,000 payment he accepted in exchange for helping a business obtain a conditional use permit from the city, the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said in a press release.

John Victor Pomierski, 58, who resigned as mayor last year after he was named in a grand jury indictment, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Pomierski is among four people who have been convicted in relation to a corruption investigation in the City of Upland, and he is the first to be sentenced.

“While he’s serving his sentence in federal prison, Mr. Pomierski will have time to reflect on the principle that public service is a sacred trust that should not be abused for personal enrichment,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that the public receives honest services from the persons they elect to public office – and that those officials who break the law are prosecuted and punished.”

According the Pomierski’s plea agreement, which was filed in United States District Court prior to him pleading guilty in April, Pomierski “agreed to help Business A obtain a new use permit from the City of Upland in exchange for money.”

Anthony Sanchez, 37, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to solicit bribes. The indictment in the case alleged that Sanchez and another co-defendant acted as middlemen, collecting money from the business owner on Pomierski’s behalf.  Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Phillips on August 13, at which time he faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Another defendant to be convicted in this case – Jason Roy Crebs, 39 –  pleaded guilty in April 2011 to aiding and abetting bribery. Crebs and Sanchez, who were co-owners of a Rancho Cucamonga business called Venture West Capital, acted as middleman, accepting a check from the business owner and writing a $5,000 check to Pomierski’s business, JP Construction. Crebs is scheduled to be sentenced on September 10, at which time he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The fourth defendant in this case, John Edward Hennes, 55, a former member of the Upland Building Appeals Board, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and making false statements to special agents with the FBI. The indictment in the case alleged that Hennes communicated Pomierski’s extortionate demands to the business owner and collected money on behalf of Pomierski. Hennes entered into consulting agreements with the business owner to disguise the nature of the payments and to protect Pomierski. Hennes is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Phillips August 27, at which time he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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.


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5 Comments

  1. Downtown Bob says:

    How did Harry Reid get so rich off of a Salary of a Senator? As the Majority Leader, he earns 193,000 or so per year, and he has not always been a majority leader. I know a personal high school friend of Sen. Reid and he said Harry was dirt poor. I guess buying some property, then selling it to your friend, lobbying for zone changes, then transferring it again does not hurt. Then look at Speaker Pelosi. Her husband was able to develop the Presidio, her son Angel Island, and her Nephew is Lt. Gov Gavin Newsome. Somehow she exempted Somoa from some tax and coincidentally she owns a sweat shop or two there.

    What does this have to do with the article…..it is apparent that politics IS corruption. Legalized corruption. This is small potatoes and they should be given a medal for keeping it relatively small! IMO.

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • Paso_citizen says:

      All the more reason to have term limits on every elected office in this country – federal, state, and city.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Just another little case of quid pro quo. The whole society is run like that. What’s the big deal?

    (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  3. Paso_citizen says:

    Don’t you just know that all government officials that get caught with their fingers in the cookie jar, spend time reflecting on their abuse of public trust. Right! If their is any reflection – it most likely is on trying to understand on how their schemes were uncovered.
    And the other thing is that this one, and the others yet to be sentenced, will be housed in a minimum security facility – with free room and board, access to excellant health care, and 200+ channels of HDTV, plus more – all at the generosity of the law-abiding, tax- paying citizens of this state. Not bad.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  4. Booty JuJu says:

    “While he’s serving his sentence in federal prison, Mr. Pomierski will have time to reflect on the principle that public service is a sacred trust that should not be abused for personal enrichment,”

    I chuckled. Was he able to say it with a straight face?

    (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down

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