Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Created: 08/13/2010 05:15:26 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – A Superior Court judge granted a prosecution motion to add a count of felony conspiracy to the list of charges against Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez in connection with the Assessor’s Office investigation.

Gutierrez appeared before Judge Duke Rouse on Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court, where Rouse granted prosecutors’ motion to amend the criminal complaint.

Gutierrez, 50, now faces one count of felony conspiracy in addition to two counts of grand theft and one count of presenting a fraudulent claim. A previous version of the amended document, which prosecutors submitted to the court last week, showed only three counts and was replaced with Friday’s updated version.

Deputy District Attorney John Goritz declined to go into detail about the strategy behind the new conspiracy charge.

“It’s the same evidence that was presented at the first trial,” Goritz said, after leaving the courtroom. “It’s just a different approach.”

Gutierrez entered not guilty pleas Friday to all charges and allegations in the amended complaint. The defendant is one of five former executives tied to a scandal that rocked the San Bernardino County Assessor’s office in 2008.

Prosecutors allege Gutierrez falsified timesheets during his 22-month tenure, from March 2007 through January 2009.

Authorities accuse former Assessor Bill Postmus of running a political operation from the office and hiring Gutierrez as a favor to Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum.

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