With former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo's trial slated to begin in September, his assistant now wants a separate hearing and may join her ex-boss in asking that the case be moved out of Los Angeles.
Rizzo and Angela Spaccia were ordered to appear Sept. 9 on multiple public-corruption-related charges, but whether the trial takes place in Los Angeles or elsewhere — and whether the two are even tried together — remains to be seen.
Spaccia's attorney, Harlan Braun, said he will ask that his client's trial be "severed" from Rizzo's.
"She is going to be tainted by association with Rizzo," Braun explained outside court.
Spaccia's defense will be to blame Rizzo, "so how can he get a fair trial?" Braun asked.
James Spertus, Rizzo's attorney, has already said he believes that his client should be judged by a jury outside the Los Angeles Times' circulation area. The Times revealed the enormous salaries that Rizzo and others in the small, working-class city were drawing.
Braun was also critical of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy's handling of the case so far. "I think she is very prejudiced against us," Braun said. "If this is not a change of venue, what is?"