Judge Sets Hearings For Ex-Bell Officials In Bid To Drop Charges

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A judge on Tuesday agreed to hear arguments from attorneys about dismissing criminal charges against former officials from the city of Bell.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports starting in December, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy could end up tossing some or all of more than 80 charges against the so-called “Bell 8”.

Former city administrator Robert Rizzo, assistant city administrator Angela Spaccia, and former mayor Oscar Hernandez will have a chance to make their arguments on December 14 , January 10 and February 2, respectively.

James Spurtiss, an attorney representing Robert Rizzo, complimented the judge’s decision.

“These are very complicated motions, they raise a lot of issues of legislative immunity, of separation of powers,” ” said Spurtiss. “They are not run-of-the-mill motions that a court can just rule on on the spur of the moment.”

If any or all charges remain after the hearings, the actual criminal trial for all the Bell defendants may not take place until late 2012.

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