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Former Bell Councilman Artiga says he served his community with 'pride and honor'

October 4, 2010 |  4:03 pm

Despite his recent arrest on corruption charges and the scandal that has plagued the city of Bell, Councilman Luis Artiga said he had served his community with "pride and honor."

At a news conference at the office of his Sherman Oaks attorney Monday afternoon, Artiga announced his resignation, effective immediately.

"I believe it's in the best interest of the residents of Bell, my family and the church because of the ongoing criminal case and tonight's meeting," Artiga said.

Artiga said he plans to remain a resident of Bell "if that's what God wants." He will continue to serve as pastor of his church, though his attorney acknowledged that many of Artiga's church members wanted him to step down.

Artiga's attorney, George Mgdesyan, said there has been no offer of a plea agreement with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

In his brief statement, Artiga defended his 1.5 years of service. "I served with pride and honor without knowing what was going on," Artiga said. "When the case plays out, people will see my level of involvement was not that great."

Mgdesyan said Artiga "doesn't want to drag the people of Bell" through the legal wranglings.

Artiga was one of eight Bell officials arrested last month in a corruption sweep. He was facing a recall, as are three other council members. Those three –- Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal and Mayor Oscar Hernandez –- were also arrested. Jacobo and Hernandez have posted bail; Mirabal remains in custody.

-- Catherine Saillant in Sherman Oaks