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Bell trial: Ex-administrator Spaccia in court to 'lend support'

Photo: Six former Bell city leaders George Mirabal, Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez and Victor Bello at trial on Jan. 24. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

As the trial of six former Bell City Council members continued Wednesday, a surprise spectator watched from the back of the courtroom.

For the first time since the trial began last month, former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia –- who is awaiting trial on corruption-related charges –- watched as former Councilman Lorenzo Velez testified.

Dressed in a purple top and black jeans, her brown hair streaked with blond highlights, Spaccia spoke with former Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo during a break in the trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

FULL COVERAGE: Bell corruption trial

Spaccia, who has been working for her attorney doing paralegal work, said she came to court Wednesday to “lend support” to the defendants, all accused of misappropriation of public funds.

She said her paralegal salary is about what she made in the 1980s. In Bell, she was making close to $400,000 a year.

Spaccia said she also came to court to observe Judge Kathleen Kennedy, who has had a somewhat contentious relationship with her attorney.

The former assistant city manager is expected to stand trial along with Robert Rizzo, the city’s onetime chief executive, sometime this summer.

Velez is the lone member of the 2010-era Bell City Council not facing criminal charges.

Velez received one of the smallest paychecks from the city and was paid $310 biweekly. The other council members were earning about $100,000 a year from authorities that rarely met and did little or no work.

Former council members Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal are all facing multiple counts of misusing public funds.

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--Jeff Gottlieb and Corina Knoll

Photo: Former Bell city leaders George Mirabal, Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez and Victor Bello at trial on Jan. 24. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

 
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