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Husband of star witness in Bell corruption case removed from court, accused of sending her signals

Lourdes Garcia at a Bell City Council meeting Aug. 16, 2010. The husband of a star witness in the Bell corruption case was ordered removed from court by the judge in the preliminary hearing after a bailiff reported seeing him signaling his wife while on the stand.

 The incident occurred Tuesday morning as Lourdes Garcia, the city's director of administrative services, was testifying in the corruption case against eight former and current Bell officials. Garcia, who earned about $422,000, was offered limited immunity in exchange for her testimony in a corruption case accusing city leaders of looting Bell's treasury.

A bailiff informed Judge Henry J. Hall that he saw Jose Garcia make signals to his wife from the gallery of the courtroom. The judge called a sidebar with attorneys and then ordered Jose Garcia out of the court.

In an interview, Jose Garcia, who also works for the city of Bell, denied that he was coaching his wife or giving her signals.

Lourdes Garcia is the second city worker offered partial immunity in an ongoing hearing to determine if there's enough evidence to try current and former City Council members Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal for misappropriation of public funds.

The immunity offer for Lourdes Garcia — and City Clerk Rebecca Valdez before her — means she cannot be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County district attorney for her testimony. Neither of the city employees have been charged in the corruption case.

RELATED:

Bell pair likened themselves to salary 'pigs'

Bell defense attorneys express concern about judge

Spaccia was trying to save city money, attorney says

--Jeff Gottlieb

Photo: Lourdes Garcia at a Bell City Council meeting Aug. 16. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

 
Comments () | Archives (30)

She's as dirty as the rest and should pay back most of 400k she made prior to getting caught.

I say sell their homes and cars. let's not forget the vacation homes and off shore accounts. People let's dig deeper.

Welcome to Mexico!

why are these people being granted immunity in any way, shape or form??? geeze louize....get rid of every one of these scum bags and stop wasting my tax dollars on these bastards already.... seize their bank accounts and freeze all their assets including their houses and take out the trash already....starting with that FAT ASS RIZZO and his mail order wife....maybe then he'll lose some of that fat from living large on our dime. oh yeah and that so called cop of theirs too....TAKE OUT THE TRASH!!!!!!

Come on people, you all know this is just for theatrical purposes to please the public. We all know well these people will get off with a slap on the wrist, typical politician reprimand. What they need to do is allow the Bell community to be the judge, jury, prosecutor. That is the only way to get a fair trial.

 
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