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

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

Comments () | Archives (9)

Want to bet this guy skips out of the USA back over the border from whence he came?

Public's trust and public servants are bad words in Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), a milking jumbo monopolistic elephant CASH MACHINE. If it is a federal offense to rob the bank, even few hundreds dollars, robbing public entities' treasury, like DWP with over $5 billions of bank reserve, should be treated like bank robbery , done through fraudulent vendors' contract bid rigging, wastage, losses.
DWP does not pay federal income, state, sales, car licenses, or property taxes (it being subsidized by City residents), and as such, should have its water and power prices significantly way below the prices of Southern California Edison. But this is not what is happening because the supposed excess profit are pocketed via contract bid riggings, eventually becoming fraudulent cost and expenses of the commodities (water and electricity) everyone is paying.
Even the Los Angeles City’s City Attorney office does not investigate reports of corruption but rather hell bent on spending taxpayers’ resources to cover up corruption. What a shameful double crossers of ethics and fiduciary duties to the public! The City Ethics Commission is also a farce. All of them are parasites on the same meal bowl. All corruptions are with blessings of its audit director actually doing the cover-up.

I almost thought it said Maywood Mayor I hope they are next.
I really would like to hear there story. Remember Basta/Bell police officers assoc. started there recall after the Chity Clowncil decided to throw the corrupt Bell PD under the bus they retaliated with a recall and whistle blowing contest. Unless the voters of Bell elect people like Carmen Bella for council things will never change for the residents. Since my arrival at Bell 2 months ago I have seen some of the dirties people Like xmob attorney Jiviing Jamie Cassio, Peter head Carillo, Vicious Valdez, Ana fat fanna Gutierrez, Lt. Ty tie um in a not and testilie Henshaw. With the kind of money that they have robbed from the poorest community in LA the could temp and hire almost anyone.

ET Snell
Clown Community Activist

When I filed complaint with Tori Jordan of County District Attorney Public Integrity Division as a direct witness against corruptions and contract bid rigging for millions of dollars in the Los Angeles Department of water and Power (DWP), blessed by the cover-ups of its audit director, my complaint was "strangely" channeled to the State Consumers'Affair Division. The person I used to contact suddenly became mute and deaf, nowhere to be located. Steve Cooley is the boss of Jordan and both ignored the complaint and improperly transferred my complaint to the Department of Consumers Affaair to silence my complaint.
See the contracts bid riggings are too rampant and two of the projects so far as encountered were linked to DWP's chief operating officer Raman Raj.
The conflict of interest is even much worse as the DWP's audit director covers up fraudulent contract biddings and falsifying audit findings. He instructed "don't audit accounting. Accounting is your friend. You are not an external auditor. Leave those findings (accounting) to the external auditors."
There's got to be some kind of special ties between the county and the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Good, make room for the County Supervisors...

Did he use money he stole from taxpayers to pay his bail? All these morons should be held without bail, all their personal and family assets seized and as much as possible returned to the taxpayers of Bell.

It's gratifying to think of Mr. Rizzo & Co. suffering & sweltering away in the grim LA County Jail. Especially, after all the other hot days of previous September heat waves that he spent in the lap of luxury, all while he was ripping off the City of Bell.

$250,000 Bail!? Probably charged to the City and the hard-working citizens of Bell.

It makes me sick to know that administrators stoled propery tax money from Bell residents. They are not real humans, they do not have a heart. How could they do this to their own people. In fact many people lost their homes due to their tax increase in properties. Also, it is not safe to trust BASTA because they support Pedro Carillo. BASTA is not an organization that I would trust. The creator of BASTA does not even live in Bell. I think that the one that deserves the most credit for discovering this corruption in Bell is the L.A. Times and the police officer who was strong enough to tell others about this corruption. However, it will take the city of Bell time to built trust on future elected officials. I hope that the upcoming officials are ethical and do not steal from the people. This is not a third world counrty and it is amazing to see how corrupt people keep on taking advantage of the opressed.


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