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Bell officials seek dismissal of corruption charges

Lawyers for former Bell city officials were in court Tuesday to request that corruption charges be dismissed.

January 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Several former Bell city officials charged with corruption were back in court Tuesday.

The defense is requesting that corruption charges be dismissed against former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo, former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia, former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former City Councilman Luis Artiga.

The judge did not make a ruling on the matter, and the defendants are expected to be back in court on Feb. 28.

Rizzo, Spaccia, Hernandez, Artiga and other former council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, Victor Bello and George Cole are accused of bilking taxpayers out of millions of dollars through lofty salaries, benefits and illicit loans of public money.

The judged ruled Tuesday that former Bell police Chief Randy Adams did not have to take the stand. He was subpoenaed by defense attorneys and attended the court hearing.

Attorneys for Rizzo and Spaccia have questioned why charges were never filed against Adams, who was earning an estimated $457,000 a year. Defense attorneys have alleged that Adams avoided charges because of his relationship with District Attorney Steve Cooley.

City News Service contributed to this report.