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Steve Lopez: Are ex-Bell officials hogs or pigs?

February 14, 2011 |  3:40 pm

Talk back with Steve LopezAll right, so we knew former Bell officials were bellying up to the public trough. But is there a difference between a pig and a hog?

I decided to check after reading about this e-mail exchange between former Bell Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia and Randy Adams, who was about to become the police chief:

ADAMS: "I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell's money?!"

SPACCIA: "Okay … just a share of it!! LOL … well you can take your share of the pie … just like us!!! We will all get fat together … Bob has an expression he likes to use on occasion … Pigs get Fat … Hogs get slaughtered!!!! So as long as we're not Hogs … All is well!"

Bob, of course, is Robert Rizzo, the former city administrator who made nearly $800,000 a year. Bob is looking at 53 felony counts in the alleged looting of the city of Bell, so I think you could say the slaughter has begun.

Adams was paid more than $400,000; and Spaccia, who made $376,000, is charged with misappropriating funds. They all got fat together, in other words, and whether you use the term pig, hog or wild boar, what can you say to any of this but oink, oink, oink?

The exchange between Spaccia and Adams was released in the midst of Monday's preliminary hearing, and Spaccia's attorney Russell Petti wasted no time in putting a cloven hoof into his own mouth. He told Times reporter Jeff Gottlieb we shouldn't get the wrong idea about those e-mails, because Spaccia was actually "trying to save the city of Bell money."

Thanks, counselor. I'll believe that when pigs fly, as they say.

Petti also said: "The intent of that is, 'Look, we're all very well compensated by the city and let's not be pigs about it.' "

Yeah, sure. Spaccia tells Adams they'll all get fat together, Adams ends up making more than police chiefs in Los Angeles and New York, and she's out to save Bell money?

But I digress. Is there a difference between a pig and a hog?

Apparently so.

The dictionary says a pig is "any of several mammals of the Suidae family." Or, "any person regarded as being pig-like, greedy or gross."

A hog is defined as a pig weighing over 120 pounds, and also as a "self-indulgent, gluttonous or filthy person."

So are they pigs or are they hogs?

To be safe, should we just go with swine?

-- Steve Lopez

Photos: (Left) Randy Adams in June 2010. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times. (Right): Angela Spaccia in October 2010. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times