SAN BERNARDINO – Former Rancho Cucamonga City Council member Rex Gutierrez could have received probation for his convictions Tuesday on corruption and other charges.
But Gutierrez, who committed the crimes while employed as a government relations officer in the county assessor’s office, received a 32-month prison term at the gavel of Superior Court judge Duke Rouse.
Jurors, following four weeks of testimony, convicted Gutierrez on two counts of grand theft, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and one count of filing a false claim. Jurors took six days to deliberate.
“It is the people in this county who are the victims here,” Rouse said. “They are excessively vulnerable because they rely on elected officials to represent them.”
None of the charges were related to Gutierrez’s presence on Rancho Cucamonga’s city council.
Gutierrez’s attorney, James Reiss, said he was disappointed his client would be sent to state prison. “We thought all along this was a probation case.”
Said Deputy District Attorney John Goritz: “It’s a very serious crime and should be dealt with accordingly.”
Gutierrez was immediately handcuffed Tuesday and taken to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, where he will later be transferred to a state prison.