LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Jury selection began Monday for a former city of Bell official accused of helping bilk taxpayers out to millions of dollars.
Angela Spaccia, the former assistant to Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, faces charges misappropriating public funds, conflict of interest, falsifying public documents and secreting public documents.
The 55-year-old 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.
Rizzo, who pleaded no contest Thursday to 69 fraud-related charges, will likely testify against his ex-assistant.
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.