LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Four former Bell city officials, including former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and his former assistant, Angela Spaccia, pleaded not guilty Thursday to corruption charges.

Rizzo, Spaccia, former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former Councilman Luis Artiga are among eight former city officials accused of misappropriating millions of dollars from the city’s coffers through bloated salaries and loans of taxpayer money.

The alleged ringleader, Rizzo, is charged with more than 50 counts of fraud, including 44 counts of misappropriation of public funds, six counts of falsification of records by an official custodian, three counts of conflict of interest and one count of public officer crime.

One count was dropped against him Thursday but another was added by prosecutors.

Spaccia, who faced four counts of misappropriation of public funds, was charged with a fourth misappropriation count, plus three counts of conflict of interest.

The new charges arose from evidence presented during her preliminary hearing, said Jane Robison of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former Councilman Luis Artiga also pleaded not guilty to corruption-related charges.

A pre-trial hearing was set for May 3.

(©2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (5)
  1. RANDY ADAMS says:

    I hope these crooks go to jail!

    1. DEE says:

      They are true justice we going to see how the inmates loves these characters upstate

  2. Robear says:

    I can’t help but be reminded of Jabba the Hut of Star Wars fame whenever I see this man’s face. Corruption is oozing from his every pores like a disease.

  3. jack says:

    Why don’t we have an organization that monitors this kind of corruption? If we want to take this country back we need to start from home. Harsher penality’s for blue collar criminals. The government is extremely corrupt. The very people that we would have to ask to create a watchdog group are the people who are corrupt.

    This is a take what you can mentality society that needs a good Tsunami to clean up all the garbage from government.

    1. We, the People says:

      Hmm, interesting sentiments, jack, but how do you tell a tsunami to wipe out only the corrupt officials in government? I get what you’re saying, but the reality is that this “tsunami” you speak of comes in the form of the American public. WE are responsible for who we put into office. These crooks certainly need to go to jail, but perhaps we as a people need to do a beter job in the elections. Remember this Bell travesty in 2012.

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