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Bell mayor released on $250,000 bond [Updated]

September 28, 2010 |  7:27 am

The mayor of the scandal-plagued city of Bell was released on bond early Tuesday morning after spending nearly a week in jail, authorities said.

Mayor Oscar Hernandez and seven other current and former Bell city leaders were arrested last week on charges of misappropriating millions from their city.

He posted $250,000 bond and was released at 2:15 a.m. from L.A. County's inmate reception center, officials said.

[Updated at 7:52 a.m.: Council members Luis Artiga and Teresa Jacobo, former Councilman George Cole and Former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia were previously released from jail after posting bond. Rizzo, whose bail was reduced last week from $3.2 million to $2 million, Councilman George Mirabal, whose bail was set at $260,000, and former Councilman Victor Bello, whose bail was set at $190,000, remain behind bars.]

Before slashing their pay amid widespread outcry this summer, Hernandez and three fellow council members were paid about $100,000 a year for part-time positions.

Former City Administrator Robert Rizzo benefited from an annual salary and benefits package of more than $1.5 million.

In setting bail, prosecutors required the officials prove that their bail money was not coming from ill-gotten income.

-- Paloma Esquivel

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