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State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris still mulling future of Bell prosecution

January 16, 2011 |  7:00 pm

Newly elected state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said Saturday said she is still considering her office's lawsuits against officials in corruption-plagued Bell.

"I don't talk about cases until I know what I'm talking about," Harris said. She said she would make an announcement "in the coming few weeks" about how she would handle the case.

"I take it very seriously when people entrusted with public trust violate that trust," Harris added. She said the alleged misconduct in Bell would constitute a "violation of the responsibility we take on when we take public office."

Her predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, filed a sweeping civil lawsuit last summer and vowed to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly pilfered from city coffers in a "civil conspiracy" to defraud the public. That lawsuit, which was filed against former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and seven others who have also been criminally charged with misappropriation of public funds, has since been dealt a number of setbacks. Courts have said that Brown, who was running for governor at the time of the filing, may have overstepped his authority and that the attorney general's office may not have standing to sue.

Read the full story here.


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