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Attorney general lacks evidence in case against Bell officials, defense lawyers claim

A request by the state attorney general and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to delay a civil suit filed against current and former Bell officials indicates a lack of evidence that the city leaders plotted to loot the city treasury, the defendants’ lawyers said Monday.

Atty. Gen Jerry Brown filed suit in September alleging that former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and others conspired to drive up their salaries, inflate their pensions and conceal the cost to taxpayers.

On Friday, however, Brown filed a motion to halt action on the suit until the criminal case against former and current Bell officials is resolved. Many of the defendants in the civil case are also charged with felonies in the criminal complaint.

The motion to stay, filed in conjunction with the district attorney’s office, said that a delay would prevent defendants from seeking civil documents that could benefit their criminal cases. Waiting for     the conclusion of the criminal case would also help narrow the issues in the civil case, thereby conserving judicial resources, the motion said.

But Russell Petti, an attorney for former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia, said the reasoning doesn’t make sense because Brown was aware of the criminal investigation when he filed the civil suit.

James Spertus, Rizzo’s attorney, said the request proves that Brown filed the case as a publicity stunt to aid his gubernatorial campaign. Brown was elected governor earlier this month.

"This is a red flag to the public that there’s perhaps nothing real behind the curtain. Normally the plaintiffs are the ones wanting to go forward,” said Spertus.

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-- Corina Knoll

 

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

The reasoning provided by the DA and the Atty General's office makes my antennae twitch badly - it seems like a violation of discovery rights. But that said, I think these 4 are guilty as sin, and the Atty Gen has every right to attempt to get the looted funds back.

Looks like Ol' Jerry jumped in without any research or investigation....what a surprise!
This is just a taste of the "fine" job he will do as Governor...
This and the Illegal house keeper were just smokescreens for the ignorant to make them believe he will do something....

Corruption, I know it when I see it. I'll volunteer for the jury pool. Does anyone think that such looting can be done without a conspiracy?

is this a true quote "a delay would prevent defendants from seeking civil documents that could benefit their criminal cases." Thats an admissiong by the State that certain exculpatory documents exist and that they are attempting by filing the motion to stay, to exclude or conceal that evidence from the criminal trial... and that is illegal! Its high time we repeal prosecutorial and judicial immunity. Im seeking to introduce legislation that would impose a tripple penalty, both jail time and fines, on any police officer, lawyer or judge who breaks the law. If ignorace of the law is no excuse then certainly being trained and working in the legal profession instills a greater responsibility to abide.

Dallas Car accident lawyer giving you suggestion on car accident.


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