Attorney Claims Ex-Bell Mayor Too Uneducated To Note High Salaries

LOS ANGELES ( — Closing arguments continued Thursday in the trial of six former officials of the city of Bell.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports the defense attorney for former mayor Oscar Hernandez was too uneducated to know whether his six-figure salary was illegal.

Lawyer claims high salaries not on ex-Bell mayor's radar

Attorney Stanley Friedman noted that Hernandez – who he said never graduated from elementary school – was among a long list of city officials and auditing firms who never warned that his part-time, $100,000-a-year position might be excessive or illegal.

According to Friedman, Hernandez worked about 2,000 hours per year – which adds up to approximately $45 per hour.

“That’s a good salary, but there’s nothing about $45 an hour in and of itself that would indicate to somebody that there’s something illegal,” he said.

Hernandez – along with former council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bello – is on trial for allegedly misappropriating funds.

The jury could receive the case as early as Thursday afternoon.

Former city manager Robert Rizzo and assistant Angela Spaccia face charges in a separate trial of misappropriating public funds, conflict of interest, falsifying public documents and secreting public documents.


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