Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/26/2010 06:29:20 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – A motion filed by Rancho Cucamonga councilman Rex Gutierrez to dismiss his criminal charges was denied Friday morning by a Superior Court judge, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Douglas Gericke denied the Penal Code section 995 motion during a scheduled appearance for Gutierrez in San Bernardino Superior Court. The charges stem from an investigation into alleged misconduct in the county Assessor’s Office, where Gutierrez formerly worked as intergovernmental relations officer.

Lawyer James Reiss, who represents Gutierrez, said they filed the motion to protect his client’s legal and factual defenses for trial. All four counts were upheld by the judge at the hearing.

Gutierrez, 50, returns to court April 2, and a jury trial was set for April 12.

“The 995 motions must be filed, and they’re granted from time to time but not a routine basis,” Reiss said later by telephone. “It’s difficult to get an entire case dismissed.”

Reiss said his client was looking forward to going to trial, where the defense will get to cross-examine former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman for the first time. Much of the county’s case is based on Aleman’s statements to investigators.

Deputy District Attorney John Goritz, of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, declined to comment after the hearing.

Prosecutors have alleged that Gutierrez, while employed by the Assessor’s Office, stole from taxpayers when he attended city events for Rancho Cucamonga on county time. He then billed the city for mileage and collected pay from the county, according to court testimony.

Reiss countered that Gutierrez was an exempt employee with the county and had no set hours. Also, under Aleman’s supervision, there were no specific rules about notations on timecards for working half-days, on projects or attending events.

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