Trial Ordered For 6 Of Bell’s Current, Former City Officials

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Six of Bell’s current and former city officials were ordered to stand trial Wednesday on charges of misappropriating public funds.

Mayor Oscar Hernandez, City Council members Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal and former council members Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bellow face criminal charges of giving themselves massive salaries that siphoned $5.5 million in taxpayer money from city coffers.

Judge Henry J. Hall ruled there was sufficient evidence to order the six to stand trial after a seven-day preliminary hearing. Judge Hall also ordered all the defendants to stay away from Bell City Hall and ruled that they are no longer allowed to function or be paid as council members.

A preliminary hearing for former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and his assistant, Angela Spaccia, begins Tuesday.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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