Closing arguments began this afternoon in the case involving Rancho Cucamonga city councilman and former Assessor employee Rex Gutierrez.
Gutierrez is now charged with only three felonies related to his employment under former Assessor Bill Postmus, after Superior Court Judge Duke D. Rouse acquitted him of Embezzlement by a Public Officer, count number three of the complaint. The Embezzlement charge dismissal is a blow to the prosecution. The embezzlement charge is what is referred to as a “general intent” crime with a lower threshold to prove guilt.
The same charge is contained in complaints involving other defendants in the District Attorney’s highly trumpeted corruption investigation. It is likely the section was misapplied in most or all of those cases as well.
District Attorney insiders say the office is steaming over the dismissal.
This afternoons activity centered around prosecutor John Goritz. Goritz subjected the jury to approximately an hour and a half of re-presenting his case against Gutierrez via a power point slide show.
Can you say boring.
As Goritz droned on, jurors seem to lose interest. Even Judge Rouse’s eyes became a little puffy during the proceeding The packed warm courtroom didn’t help matters.
Defense attorney Jim Reiss will present his closing argument on Monday morning at 9:30 A.M. in Department S-18.