Eight City of Bell officials arrested
September 21, 2010
Police arrested at least eight city of Bell officials Tuesday morning and the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced that criminal charges are pending. [LA Times]
Former City Manager Robert Rizzo, whose high salary sparked the outrage that led to the investigations of the city, was among those arrested in the sweep. Sources are reporting that former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia; Mayor Oscar Hernandez; Councilmembers Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal; and former Councilmembers George Cole and Victor Bello were among those arrested.
DA Steve Cooley filed charges Tuesday morning, alleging that the Bell officials misappropriated $5.5 million in public funds. Rizzo has been charged with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest.
“This is corruption on steroids,” Cooley said.
Rizzo and other top city officials stepped down in July after the salary scandal broke. City Council members — who were earning nearly $100,000 a year — significantly slashed heir pay.
The full audit by state Controller John Chiang’s office has previously found that Bell illegally overtaxed residents and businesses by $5.6 million.