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Bell corruption trial: Jurors start over after panelist dismissed

March 1, 2013 |  6:57 am

After a juror was dismissed for misconduct in the Bell corruption trial, a replacement was selected and jurors will have to begin deliberations anew.

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy placed four ping-pong balls into a Dodgers helmet -- one for each alternate in the criminal case -- and picked one, a middle-aged woman. The alternates sat through the four-week trial but did not take part in deliberations, which began Feb. 22.

Kennedy asked the jurors to set aside their past discussions and act as if their earlier deliberations had not taken place.

Earlier Thursday, a white-haired woman known as Juror No. 3 was removed from the panel for misconduct after she revealed under questioning from the judge that she had done research on the Internet, consulted a legal website and looked up the word "coercion."

The same juror had complained tearfully to the judge earlier this week that other jurors were picking on her.

Former Bell council members Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Teresa Jacobo, Oscar Hernandez and George Mirabal have been accused of misappropriating public funds.

They have been charged with boosting their salaries to as high as a $100,000 a year by being paid for sitting on city boards that did little if any work.

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-- Jeff Gottlieb and Corina Knoll at Los Angeles County Superior Court

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