Angela Spaccia convicted in Bell corruption trial


Jurors found Spaccia guilty of 11 of 13 corruption-related felony charges, including conspiracy, misappropriating public funds, falsification of government records and conflict of interest.

Spaccia was acquitted of hiding a public document involving the police chief's contract. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy also declared a mistrial on another count after jurors deadlocked. After the verdict was read, Spaccia was taken away in handcuffs pending her sentencing on Jan. 22.

Prosecutors alleged that Spaccia broke the law when she wrote oversized salary and benefits packages for herself and her former boss, Robert Rizzo.

By the time they were fired in 2010, Spaccia and Rizzo were collecting salaries higher than that of the president of the United States.

Spaccia's attorney had argued that their salaries were large - but not criminal. Attorney Harland Braun admitted Spaccia may have exercised poor judgment in accepting an annual compensation package worth $564,000 at its peak.

Before being fired, Rizzo was getting a compensation package worth $1.2 million a year. The defense has argued that Rizzo is the real culprit. Rizzo has pleaded no contest to 69 corruption charges.

The jury's deliberations came after five weeks of testimony. Prosecuters say they will ask for the maximum sentence in the case, which could be 17 years in prison.

Five other Bell city officials were convicted of various corruption charges in a separate trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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