LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has refused to put on hold a lawsuit targeting current and former officials of the scandal-ridden city of Bell until criminal charges against them are resolved.

City News Service says the California attorney general’s office asked Superior Court Judge Ralph Dau to stay its lawsuit until the officials are prosecuted.

Doing so, the judge was told Monday, would prevent defendants from obtaining information they could use to fight the criminal charges. It could also streamline the case and save money.

But Dau said the suit could be dismissed and refiled later. He is to hear dismissal motions on Feb. 3.

Most of the officials being sued also face criminal charges of bilking Bell residents out of millions of dollars.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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