Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Created: 10/13/2010 06:24:35 PM PDT

For nearly two years, Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez attended dozens of city-related meetings and special events when he was supposed to be working for the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office, according to court testimony Wednesday.

Gutierrez’s conduct was also sanctioned by former county Assessor Bill Postmus, who prosecutors allege hired Gutierrez as a political favor for Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, an allegation Burum denies.

Postmus also denies the allegations. He and three other former assessor’s office executives face separate criminal charges from a scandal that erupted in the office in 2007 and 2008, when it was learned Postmus was allegedly using his office to run a political operation.

Prosecutors believe the intent was for Gutierrez to secure a cushy county job where he could use Postmus’ elected office to boost his political career, at taxpayer expense.

From the time he was hired in March 2007 until the time his job was eliminated in January 2009, Gutierrez submitted time records to county payroll indicating he was working 40-hour work weeks in the assessor’s office, or taking legitimate sick time or holiday time. But Gutierrez’s daily activity reports, mileage logs and expense reports, according to district attorney senior investigator Schyler Beaty, show he was spending most of his days and evenings attending Rancho Cucamonga Council meetings, housing subcommittee meetings, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other special events in his capacity as a councilman.

On some occasions, Gutierrez “double-dipped,” requesting reimbursement from both the county and Rancho Cucamonga for attending the same events, Beaty said.

Gutierrez, 50, is charged with three felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, grand theft and filing a fraudulent claim. His first trial in June resulted in a mistrial after a jury could not reach unanimous verdicts in each of the counts Gutierrez was charged with at the time.

Beaty examined Gutierrez’s payroll submissions, expense and mileage submissions, and daily activity reports from the county that covered four of 46 pay periods during Gutierrez’s employment at the Assessor’s Office from March 19, 2007 to Jan. 3, 2009.

On one occasion in March 2007, Gutierrez stated on his time records he worked eight hours at the assessor’s office that day, but his expense, mileage and daily activity reports indicated he attended sexual harassment training in Rancho Cucamonga at 9 a.m. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, he attended a city-held barbecue, and then from 4 to 6 p.m. he attended another special event at the California Welcome Center.

Two months later, in May 2007, Gutierrez received from the county one day of sick pay and one day of regular pay for attending a three-day convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas.

Debra McNay, assistant city clerk for Rancho Cucamonga, testified that Gutierrez submitted an expense report to the city in June 2007 seeking reimbursement of $633.43 for attending the same Las Vegas convention. The reimbursement, Gutierrez indicated on his expense report, was for lodging and meals.

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