Curtain Call for Bell Corruption Saga

State and prosecutors are busy tying up the remaining loose ends in the epic Bell corruption prosecutions.

Last Wednesday:   Five former Bell city council members, all previously convicted of certain corruption counts in a March 2013 trial, pleaded no contest to the counts on which the jury deadlocked.  As part of the plea agreement, all agreed not to run again for public office and pay restitution to the cash-strapped city.   The five, former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole and Victor Bello,  are scheduled to be sentenced in June and July.  They face prison terms as long as four years.

Last Thursday:  Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy sentenced former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia to over 11 years in prison for bilking Bell of millions of dollars.  She labeled Spaccia a “hog” and  “con artist” who never expressed remorse for her crimes.  Her attorney, Harland Braun, called the judge biased and said that he planned to appeal.

On Monday:  Robert Rizzo received a 33-month federal sentence for tax fraud, and was ordered to pay $256,000 in restitution to the government.  He had pleaded guilty to claiming nearly $800,000 in losses related to a ranch that he falsely claimed was rental property.   In state court tomorrow, Rizzo will face the wrath of Judge Kennedy as he faces sentencing on 69 counts of corruption.

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