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L.A. Now Live: Discuss the Bell corruption trial

January 25, 2013 |  8:33 am

As the Bell corruption trial began Thursday, prosecutors in their opening statements depicted six former council members as greedy operators who schemed to collect outsized salaries by serving on various government boards that did nothing.

Times staff writer Jeff Gottlieb will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. today to discuss the trial.

As the defense attorneys presented their initial statements, it didn't take long for the strategy to become clear: Blame former City Administrator Robert Rizzo.

"It was reasonable to rely on this man because he had a track record of being this amazing, productive city manager," said Ronald Kaye, attorney for former Councilman George Cole. "When he ripped off this city and these council members, he duped them."

In addition to Cole, former council members Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal are facing charges in the trial. All six face potential prison terms if convicted.