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.


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14 Comments

  1. danika says:

    My thoughts: audit every official holding office of any kind in every city in Ca. Allow them a quarter of what they are now being paid, take the money instead of increasing the vehicle registration fees by the $18 that is on the ballot this election. IF they don’t agree to the salary decrease, deport them to a state that feels their work is commenserate with those absurd salaries. I doubt any state will want them…

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • easymoney says:

      Homerun…
      I agree that every ” public servant” should be reviewed for accountability and worth, then salaries slashed. Cut their pay down to what the private sector is paying their employees. And I’m not talking CEOs but the actual management and staffing that are running the show. Every state in the union is housing public sector employees who are being paid outrageous salaries and benefits, who are worthless and have absolutely no accountability.
      OK, back to reality, this boondoggle would have never been discovered if it weren’t for the citizens who stood up and said no more and that is what it’s going to take. The same outrage needs to happen over the shenanigans in Atascadero, SLO and every city here on the Central Coast.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  2. standup says:

    Wade McKinney and his henchmen should be next.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  3. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Is it any wonder why it is taking so long for the Fed’s (i.e. F.B.I.) to get around to Gearhart/Hurst. There has been so much fallout from sleezy a**holes from Madoff on down to this and others. The backlog must be unreal!

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. Alon_Perlman says:

    Ding Dong.
    Ask not for whom the bell tolls…
    It Tolls for thee
    8 bells and all is well.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  5. Saveslocounty says:

    If there was any question who to vote for in the Attorney General race, here is the answer. Cooley had the guts to stand up and take on a corrupt system. Way to go.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • Bert says:

      I agree with your comment. However, isn’t he just doing his job, and maybe a wee bit late at that?

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
      • SLORider says:

        I agree with your comment as well. However, a bit about Cooley’s San Francisco opponent Kamala Harris:

        Kamala Harris opposes the death penalty. In fact, she refused to seek the death penalty for even a convicted cop-killer. She also refused the death penalty for an illegal immigrant gang member who murdered an entire family. This murderer was on the streets only because Harris had released him when he was arrested a few weeks earlier. And he was able to stay in San Francisco despite being arrested because Harris opposes deporting illegal immigrants, even after they commit violent crimes. She also created a program that trains illegal immigrants for jobs in the U.S. One illegal immigrant from her program robbed and then tried to murder his victim. Harris is strongly opposed by most prosecutors and police officers in the state, and especially by San Francisco’s own police officers association, the group that knows her best.

        (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
        • SLOBIRD says:

          Harris is another Rose Bird… No person should die for their crime. It is interesting that after more than 3 years, because the chamber and method was ruled not suitable, Brown gets his act together as Attorney General and right before his election everything is a go. Any bets it takes place??? Brown has been against the death penalty for even for the governorship will sell his soul. “moonbean” needs to go and everyone on death roll for more than 10 years should be executed. Pretty soon with DNA we won’t have to have all these appeals. 2 appeals and bye-bye…

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • Saveslocounty says:

        Yes, Cooney was doing his job but actually, for the legal system, it is considered break -neck speed. He got the job done when the current Attorney General is dancing around filing a civil lawsuit against the thieves. I haven’t seen any action by the FBI or IRS. And yes, I am going to vote for the person who did their job, especially in these times when so many others are not.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  6. slow says:

    Let me know when they get to the 300K+ in compensation to SLO City Manager Katie Lichtig:
    http://slonews.thetribunenews.com/city_salaries/slo/

    It’s time to reign in the salaries of public employees across the state, instead of focusing on extreme cases.

    (16) 16 Total Votes - 16 up - 0 down

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