‘I’m not a pig,’ ex-Bell administrator says in TV interview [Video]
A former top administrator in Bell who joked about getting "fat together" on the city's dime denied wrongdoing in the public corruption scandal and said she would never do anything to hurt the city's residents.
Angela Spaccia made the statements to KTTV Fox 11 reporter Gigi Graciette during an interview that will air over two nights. It is the first lengthy interview Spaccia has granted since news of her excessive salary broke last summer. She and former city administrator Robert Rizzo are considered the chief masterminds behind the pay and corruption scandal.
"I'm not a pig. I'm not unscrupulous," Spaccia said in the interview. "I've always been the champion of trying to take care of things and people."
Spaccia is facing charges that she misappropriated public funds. She made headlines again this week after prosecutors released damaging e-mails between Spaccia and former police chief Randy Adams. In the e-mails, she quoted what she described as a favorite Rizzo saying: "Pigs get Fat … Hogs get slaughtered!!!! So as long as we're not Hogs … All is well!"
Spaccia told Garciette she was "naïve" and feels betrayed by Rizzo. She said she did not know about contracts that gave him raise after raise for a compensation package that totaled about $1.5 million. But Spaccia had her own lucrative contract. She received about $375,000 in base salary -– more than almost all city managers in the state -– and had a benefits package worth $845,960. Spaccia is also accused of taking $230,000 in illegal loans from the city.
"I feel this immense responsibility to the people of Bell," Spaccia said. "I don't know that they would ever want my help, but that's where my heart is. I feel terrible for these people."
The second part of Spaccia's interview airs Wednesday night.
-- Kimi Yoshino
Video: Bell's former assistant city administrator Angela Spaccia in an interview with KTTV Fox 11. Credit: KTTV Fox 11