RANCHO CUCAMONGA In the latest delay in a case that's dragged on almost 41/2 years, California Charter Academy founder C. Steven Cox has lost his legal representation again, forcing the defense in his case to start over once more.


Cox, who founded what was the largest charter school in California prior to its 2004 collapse, is now on his fourth defense attorney since he and former Hesperia mayor Tad Honeycutt were indicted in September 2007.


His most recent defense attorney, San Bernardino County Public Defender Gary K. Wynings, took over Cox's case after his previous attorney, public defender Earl Wade Shinder died suddenly in November 2011.


There's a lot of homework to catch up on for Cox's new attorney, Rancho Cucamonga defense attorney Geoff W. Newman. Deputy District Attorney Michael Fermin has previously said that 52,000 pages of discovery and 456 exhibits had been presented to the grand jury in the California Charter Academy case. Evidence presented by the defense will likely raise the page count even higher.


Cox and Honeycutt face 117 felony charges between them, related to alleged illegal transactions between CCA and a for-profit subsidiary run by Honeycutt.


According to Fermin and Cox, Wynings left the case due to a conflict of interest and he's hardly the first to do so.


Honeycutt is the third member of his family to serve Hesperia as an elected official, serving a Hesperia City Councilman from 2000 to 2008.


His father, Theron, was a councilman from 1991 to 1995. His mother, Kathleen, represented the 34th Assembly District in the California State Legislature from 1993 to 1994. Honeycutt was also active for years in Victor Valley Republican politics, raising funds that ultimately helped a number of elected officials into office.


Those connections caused one judge after another in Victorville Superior Court to recuse themselves, and the case was ultimately moved to Fontana Superior Court and then to Rancho Cucamonga.


The CCA defendants are next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 31.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.