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Prosecutors file additional charges against ex-Bell officials

Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia during a preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on March 4.

Los Angeles County prosecutors filed more charges Thursday against former Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo and his ex-assistant, Angela Spaccia, who are already facing numerous charges of public corruption and misappropriation of funds.

The complaint adds one count of misappropriation of funds against the two for what prosecutors say was Spaccia's excessive compensation and benefits. Spaccia also faces three additional counts of conflict of interest for allegedly writing her own employment contracts, which officials say helped her earn more than $375,000 annually -– more than most city managers in the state.

Prosecutors dropped one count of misappropriation of funds against Rizzo.

Rizzo still faces more than 50 felony charges including conflict of interest and falsification of public records. He and seven other current and former Bell officials were arrested last September during a sweeping corruption probe that has left the city in financial disarray.

Prosecutors say Rizzo lacked the authority to dole out nearly $2 million in loans from the city treasury to dozens of employees, and that he and Spaccia wrote their own employee contracts without City Council approval. Rizzo topped off an $80,000 loan to himself several times while Spaccia accepted three loans totaling more than $300,000, which she put toward purchasing property, prosecutors say.

Rizzo, Spaccia, former Councilman Luis Artiga and recently ousted Mayor Oscar Hernandez all pleaded not guilty Thursday at an arraignment. Officials say Artiga received two $20,000 loans, one of which he used to adopt a daughter from Tijuana. Hernandez said he used his $20,000 loan to buy equipment for his market.

Along with recently recalled council members Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal and former councilmen Victor Bello and George Cole, Artiga and Hernandez are also charged in a separate case in which prosecutors charge they were paid for serving on several boards and commissions that never or rarely met.

Rizzo is the sole defendant in a third case in which he is accused of conflict of interest in connections with a racehorse venture he owned with Dennis Tarango, who served as Bell's privately contracted planning director.


Bell officials plead not guilty to charges

Legislature passes emergency law to seat new Bell City Council

Judge leaning toward dismissing attorney general's case against Bell officials

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia during a preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on March 4. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (10)

So let's get this straigth, the Italian Americans are being incriminated and erotic massage parlors and medical marijuana are the new craze?

Looks like California is the liberal lawless state it was setting out to become!

Good luck kids!

Mash6268: When did you get the idea the Italian Americans were being incriminated? While I agree that Spaccia and Rizzo are both of Italian decent, they are but 2 of millions who, for the most part are fine, upstanding, law abiding citizens.

Every nationality has a few black sheep.

I know I am missing something here, The D.A. has filed additional charges against Rizzo and Spaccia But still refuses to arrest and file criminal against his best friend "POOR EXCUSE FOR CHIEF OF POLICE " Mr. Ethics Randy Adams,,,,The D.A. Steve Cooley has all the ammo needed to put Adams in jail .I wonder why Cooley and Spaccia are Covering up for Adams? Adams took the job of Chief in Bell for the sole purpose of blatanty pilfering the coffers of the city that he took an "OATH" to protect,,,,Adams must have serious DIRT on SOME PEOPLE,,,,,You guess,,,,,,,,

Ever notice the people who pick on California hide behind nicknames and don't have the cojones to stand up and be counted.

The Italian-Americans in the Bell case are a disgrace to Italian-Americans everywhere. Maybe some jail time with real Italian-Americans will teach them some social manners. And those who don't like erotic massage parlors and medical marijuana are just jealous.

Spaacia was on the news saying that she is "so sorry"..

Yep, you're sooooo sorry you got caught....

Can't wait to see her get shipped up to Chowchilla.

@Mash6268 ... come on now...

Just because they are Italian Americans isn't the reason they got busted... They are ''alleged" white collar criminals. They hurt, if these allegations are true, a lot of people ....poor people and they hurt them financially. That really sux.

As far as Message Parlors, they have been around here forever and a day. Who do THEY hurt?

Now to Medical Marijuana... we voted that in, it's far from a ''craze'' and it also is not hurting anyone. People who go there, for the majority, go there for relief from an illness. Now you can believe it or not, that's up to you, but, comparing medical marijuana to ripping low income people off for personal gain is apples and oranges.

No one MAKES you go to a message parlor and no one MAKES you go to a Pot Co-op. That's a personal choice one makes, but, screwing the residents via outrageous property taxes, exorbitant salaries at the expense of the residents DOES hurt a lot of people.

I don't care if they were Italian, Chinese, or whatever... if they did what they are accused of, they should got to prison.

Rizzo is a crook and a bully.
He ran the town like own little fiefdom.
Now he got caught.
Now he goes to jail.

If this case is about ripping off the citizen of Bell why is Randy Adams getting another free ride? He got a deal from Rizzo which included a disability retirement and free medical for his family. This disability retirement is partly tax free.

Randy's injury was concerning his foot, neck and back. Randy ran in the Glendale Dash, he was a member of the relay team from Baker to Vegas and took a spinning class at a private gym in Simi Valley.

How many disable people can perform these activities? Or it is another fraud like Ex-Sleazy Sheriff Mike Corona in OC? Oh'yeah, Randy applied for this job bragging about his skiing ability.

Is this the same Randy Adams who worked as a police cadet for LAPD in the early 70's? Is this the same guy when he applied for a police recruit job was denied because of obvious spinal issues, yet he managed to get hired in Ventura County.

Did Randy injured his back when picking up the file in Simi or was this just another injury to a pre existing condition. Why is this not a fraud?

Then we have private cars being towed off and held as ransom and poor working people getting screwed over by Randy's code enforcement officers.

In the name of Christ, where are the RICO laws and Feds concerning violations under the color of authority?

Ewa Beach

I saw that "woe is me" interview with Spaccia and almost choked on my dinner. What a joke that she even attempts to evoke sympathy from other, law abiding citizens. This is the same crook who, when the scandal was first unfolding, defended the absurdly inflated salary she gave herself by saying, "You get what you pay for." Well guess what, Spaccia -- you will now pay for what you got!

This man does not look healthy. And his mistress needs a plastic surgeon.


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