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6 Bell officials ordered to stand trial

Take a look at the eight current and former Bell officials arrested Tues. in connection with the city's salary scandal.

February 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Six current and former Bell city officials were ordered to stand trial on Wednesday on charges of misappropriating public funds.

A judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence after a seven-day preliminary hearing.

During the hearing, court documents revealed the contents of some explosive e-mails in which city officials joked about getting rich off taxpayer dollars.

A defense attorney told a judge the officials were victims of a witch hunt and were wrongly caught up in the corruption scandal. He said there is no evidence the officials knew of any illegal activity that former city manager Robert Rizzo may have been involved in.

Mayor Oscar Hernandez, City Council members Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal, and former council members Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bello are scheduled to be arraigned on March 2.

A separate hearing may begin this week to determine if there's enough evidence to try former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia and Rizzo on felony charges of misappropriating public funds.

City News Service contributed to this story.