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Bell city clerk to continue testimony when corruption hearing resumes

February 14, 2011 |  9:16 am

Valdez Bell's city clerk, Rebecca Valdez, will continue her testimony on the witness stand as the preliminary hearing for six current and former council members resumes Monday morning.

Attorneys for the council members will continue their cross-examination of Valdez, who has been given partial immunity by prosecutors.

The preliminary hearing, which began last week, is one of three hearings that will be held for eight current and former city officials charged with corruption and misappropriation of public funds. The hearing currently underway will determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial in the case of the six current and former council members accused of receiving huge paychecks for serving on city boards that seldom or never met.

So far, Valdez has acknowledged providing false figures to a resident who had requested the salaries of city officials. She said former City Administrator Robert Rizzo directed her to provide the inaccurate memo to the resident, Roger Ramirez, who had filed a public records request in 2008.

Lourdes Garcia, the city's finance director, is expected to take the stand after Valdez. It is unclear whether she will also be granted immunity.

Follow L.A. Times' reporter Corina Knoll on Twitter for updates from the hearing.


Robert Rizzo had salary information falsified

Residents show up in court to confront Bell leaders

Bell mayor says death threats kept him from meetings

-- Kimi Yoshino

Photo: Bell City Clerk Rebecca Valdez testifies during a preliminary hearing for six current and former council members. Credit:  Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times