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Bell corruption trial: Ex-police chief explains controversial emails

Bell's former police chief broke his silence and testified on Wednesday in the city's public corruption trial.
November 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
After years of taking the fifth, Bell's former police chief broke his silence and testified Wednesday in the city's public corruption trial.

Former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams took the stand at 9:30 a.m. in the trial of Angela Spaccia, the city's former city manager.

When the scandal broke, Adams was making about $450,000 a year. That figure made him one of the highest paid police officers in the country. Despite that, Adams was never charged in the case.

In his testimony, Adams said while Spaccia was the one who contacted him about the police chief job at Bell, she was acting under the orders of Robert Rizzo, the city's former manager.

Rizzo has already pleaded no contest to corruption charges. He is expected to take the stand later on in this case on behalf of the prosecution against Spaccia.

A major point of focus mixed into Adam's testimony on behalf of Spaccia is a chain of damaging emails between Adams and Spaccia.

In a 2009 email exchange with Adams, Spaccia promised him they will enrich themselves as long as they don't get too greedy.

"I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell's money," Adams wrote Spaccia.

During his testimony, Adams said his statement was taken out of context and that he was merely joking.

Following that email, Spaccia responds, "We will all get fat together...Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. So as long as we're not hogs all is well."

Spaccia also tells Adams in another email: "We have crafted our agreements carefully so we do not draw attention to out pay."

The prosecution suggested a cozy relationship, showing the jury a photo of Spaccia in a bathrobe that she emailed to Adams. Adams testified he took it as a joke and that he only knew her professionally.

Adams has kept his silence for years. On Tuesday, however, Adams surprised the courtroom by announcing his plans to testify. The 62-year-old said he wants to tell his whole story because he believes he did nothing wrong.

Spaccia, one of eight former city leaders originally charged in the corruption case, is facing 13 counts, including misappropriation of funds.

Adams is currently retired, making approximately $240,000 per year from his pension.


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