LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former city of Bell official accused of helping to bilk taxpayers out of roughly $5.5 million was in court Friday for a pretrial hearing.
Angela Spaccia, who served as the former Assistant City Administrator under former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, was expected to begin her trial Monday on charges that include misappropriating public funds, conflict of interest, falsifying public documents and secreting public documents.
KNX 1070′s Margaret Carrero reports Rizzo, who was charged on 69 counts — including misappropriating public funds and loaning city money to friends and others — pleaded no contest Thursday.
Rizzo’s attorney, James Spertus, told KCAL9′s Dave Lopez his client will testify against Spaccia.
“I’m still in shock over what happened yesterday, but if in fact he plans to testify, then we’ll see if he double-crosses me or not,” Spaccia told Lopez. “If he tells the truth, I’m exonerated. If he lies…actually, I still believe I’ll be exonerated.”
Spaccia was reportedly paid $376,288 a year under Rizzo, who was being paid nearly $800,000 annually before he resigned in July 2010.
In 2011, a grand jury indicted Rizzo and Spaccia on allegations that Spaccia drafted employment contracts for herself and Rizzo that gave them both significant pay raises without the City Council’s approval.
The indictment also alleged Rizzo and Spaccia falsified documents purporting to be contracts for former police Chief Randy Adams and hid documents indicating that he was being paid nearly $10,000 more per pay period.
Former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole and Victor Bello were found guilty in March after jurors convicted the five defendants on some counts of misappropriation of public funds, acquitted them on other misappropriation charges and deadlocked on the remaining misappropriation counts.