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Bell's future leaders cheer indictments in city's corruption case

Click to read the Bell grand jury indictment Newly elected council members in financially battered Bell cheered the latest round of criminal charges brought against the city’s former top administrators, who are accused of looting the working-class city and leaving it on the edge of insolvency.

“The more charges the better,” said Danny Harber, one of five people elected earlier this month in a complete makeover of the City Council. “I just hope everyone of them stick."

DOCUMENT: Read the indictment

Nestor Valencia, another election day winner, said he viewed the indictment of former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia as “good news.”

“But we want a bigger probe,” said Valencia, who suggested federal investigators consider a racketeering probe.

The indictment adds eight charges to the sweeping public corruption case against Rizzo, Spaccia and six current and former Bell officials.

While the earlier charges focused on the lavish salaries paid to top Bell officials, the new indictments look at Rizzo and Spaccia’s attempts to manipulate state pension rules to push their retirement compensation well beyond accepted levels.

All eight have pleaded not guilty to the charges and remain free on bail.

One of the city’s freshly elected council members took a more measured view of a scandal that resulted in a complete house-cleaning of the City Council.

"It is not surprising, but nonetheless disturbing, to find out the extent of Robert Rizzo's abuse of Bell taxpayer dollars. That's the bad news,” said Ali Saleh.

“The good news is that there is a clear consensus of new City Council members that we will quickly institute good government reforms to ensure those abuses will never happen again."

The new council members are expected to be sworn in next month.

-- Ruben Vives

Comments () | Archives (5)

Once again I will ask "Honest" Steve Cooley why he put his friendship with Randy Adams ABOVE his oath to enforce the law?

I am so glad I didn't vote for him to be our next A.G. -

Key an eye on Nestor. He is a power hungry, back stabbing little weasel. He is another Rizzo in training!

Now, if someone can investigate the city of El Segundo!

Instead of cheering for the new indictments, You should grabbing Rizzo by the neck and knocking some sense into him ,along with his co-horts. You people almost deserve this to happen to you, you need to start policing your communities or it will keep going on and on ,and on and on ,and on and on,and on and on. By the way political corruption should have a life sentance, the crime creates a lot of hurt for many of a people.

Pensions tax and kill the taxpayers.

A "meager" $100,000 per year pension (and there are plenty) for 30 yrs of retirement equals a $3,000,000 lottery hit at the expense of taxpayers trying to feed their families.


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