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NEWS
December 5, 1985
Five police officers were honored by Bell City Council Monday for their part in an investigation of a major drug network. Sgt. James Edwards, and detectives Jerry Guzzetta, Charles Hannon, Thomas McReynolds and Dennis Tavernelli of the Bell-Cudahy Police Department were awarded certificates of appreciation for their role in a case involving 35 arrests, 21 felony charges and the seizure of 60 pounds of cocaine, $300,000 in cash, $100,000 in jewelry and 19 automobiles.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Kate Mather
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge lashed out at a former Bell leader Thursday, sentencing her to more than 11 years in prison and branding her a "hog" for tapping the town treasury for her lavish salary while the working-class city slid toward insolvency. Angela Spaccia became the first person sentenced in the municipal corruption case, and the lengthy prison term was the first indicator of how Judge Kathleen Kennedy intends to punish those convicted of misappropriating more than $10 million from one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
In a surprise move Tuesday, former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams told a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that he plans to testify in the corruption case against the city's second-in-command, Angela Spaccia. "I will testify," said Adams, who in one brief appearance on the witness stand had invoked the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination 20 times. Adams is expected to take the stand at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.  DOCUMENT: Deposition of Randy Adams He may help fill in some of the blanks in the scandal that rocked the small city in southeastern Los Angeles County and forced him from his job. Although he was named in a state attorney general's lawsuit against eight Bell officials, he has not been charged with a crime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Ruben Vives
The long-running Bell corruption scandal drew toward an end Wednesday when five former council members pleaded no contest to criminal charges and agreed to pay restitution to the small, cash-strapped city that could approach $1 million. The pleas end the prosecution of seven officials accused of bilking the city out of more than $10 million that they used for excessive salaries and perks. At one point, council members were receiving up to $100,000 a year for their part-time work, while the city's top administrator, Robert Rizzo, pulled in $1.5 million annually in total compensation.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2011 | James Rainey
There were several great moments in the Los Angeles Times newsroom Monday, as the paper reeled in a couple of Pulitzer Prizes. You had to love Ruben Vives, just three years into his reporting career, accepting a glass of champagne with a shaking hand, but speaking like a practiced orator about the value of newspapers. Who wasn't tickled for Barbara Davidson, the winner for feature photography, beaming and threatening to sing the anthem of her native Canada? Times Editor Russ Stanton drew a roar of approval paying tribute to Vives' journeyman reporting partner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Jack Leonard and Ruben Vives
Robert Rizzo, the central figure in the scandal that made the working-class city of Bell a national symbol for government graft, effectively admitted for the first time Thursday his role in the corruption scheme. On the eve of his trial, Rizzo made a surprise appearance in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and pleaded no contest to 69 felony charges of misappropriating public funds, hiding and falsifying records, perjury and other crimes. Prosecutors said Rizzo, Bell's former city administrator, would be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
Already one of California's highest paid public pensioners, former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams this week asked a state pension panel to double his retirement pay to reflect the huge salary he received during his brief stint as the top cop in the scandal-plagued city. If Adams wins his case, which is being heard in Orange County, his pension would zoom to $510,000 a year, making him the second-highest-paid public pensioner in California. On the witness stand Thursday, Adams invoked his 5th Amendment right to not incriminate himself 20 times, including when asked about his Bell salary, which was among the highest law enforcement paychecks in the nation.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
We know his crimes - boosting his compensation to $1.5 million a year for managing the small working class city of Bell, and allowing the City Council and fellow administrators to similarly fleece taxpayers. We know his likely punishment - he pleaded no contest to 69 felony corruption charges last year and faces 10 to 12 years in prison, plus several million dollars in restitution. Yet, we still don't know why Robert Rizzo chose to rip off the city he was hired to manage. At least, not from his own mouth.
HEALTH
June 8, 2013 | By Melinda Fulmer
If you want to tap into the heart rate revving, muscle-building power of kettle bell workouts, the single-arm kettle bell swing is the best place to start. Demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train L.A. in Hollywood, it's a great low-impact way to burn fat and work multiple muscle groups at once. What it does The swing develops your hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps, as well as your back and arms. What to do From a standing position with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, pick up your kettle bell with one hand from the floor, grasping it with your knuckles pointing forward.
NEWS
March 20, 2013 | From Times Staff
On the 18th day of deliberation, the jurors in the Bell corruption trial said today they have reached a verdict in the case against six former council members accused of misappropriating public funds. More soon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Five former Bell council members - all convicted but facing retrial on additional corruption-related charges - must decide Thursday whether to take a plea bargain that could put them behind bars for up to four years. The Los Angeles district attorney's office offered the deal on the condition that George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo, Victor Bello and George Mirabal each agree to it. If not all of them sign off on the deal, the offer would be taken off the table and the former city leaders would head to a second trial with a judge who has indicated repeatedly that she has grown weary of the 2010 Bell salary scandal.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
Kimi Yoshino, a veteran reporter and editor, has been named Business editor of the Los Angeles Times. During her 14 years at The Times, Yoshino has worked as a reporter for Metro and Business and covered a variety of subjects, including Disney theme parks, Anaheim and the Orange County beach cities. She fills a recently vacated position. For the last few years, she has served as morning assignment editor in Metro, and completed two reporting rotations in The Times' Baghdad bureau.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Not long ago, Barbara and Ethan Gruska - the fresh-faced siblings at the core of L.A.'s Belle Brigade - were deep in a rehearsal with their two bandmates. The goal that afternoon was reworking the songs on the Belle Brigade's self-titled 2011 debut so that they fit alongside tunes from the group's just-finished follow-up. It took some doing. A sunny blast of retro West Coast folk-pop, "The Belle Brigade" pulled deeply (and openly) from crowd-pleasing forebears such as the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. The new album, by contrast, begins with a digitally processed train whistle laid atop a booming drumbeat.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
We know his crimes - boosting his compensation to $1.5 million a year for managing the small working class city of Bell, and allowing the City Council and fellow administrators to similarly fleece taxpayers. We know his likely punishment - he pleaded no contest to 69 felony corruption charges last year and faces 10 to 12 years in prison, plus several million dollars in restitution. Yet, we still don't know why Robert Rizzo chose to rip off the city he was hired to manage. At least, not from his own mouth.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Veronica Mars," the movie, is just so Veronica Mars. The teenage private eye from the 2004-07 TV series starring Kristen Bell has grown up. But like fans of the show, a.k.a. marshmallows, it is quickly clear that while Veronica may have left her life in Neptune, Calif., behind, she hasn't moved on. Director Rob Thomas, creator of the prime-time show, and series executive producer Diane Ruggiero, finally do what they refused to do when "Veronica Mars" was canceled in 2007 - deliver a script that ties up a lot of loose ends and opens up a new can of worms.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Charlotte Allen, guest blogger
The one thing you've got to say about Miriam "Duke Porn Star" Weeks is that she's probably not racking up much in the way of student loans at Duke University. Or is she? The story on Duke freshman Weeks, who's "working" her way through college by flying regularly to L.A. to make porn films, oscillates between: 1) a lugubrious feminist narrative about an enterprising "sex worker" (nothing wrong with that!) who's being victimized by judgmental, patriarchal males who simultaneously condemn her and lap up (no pun intended)
HEALTH
August 9, 2013 | By Melinda Fulmer
Kettle bell exercises are a great multi-tasker, packing cardio and strength training in one fluid, low-impact session. The kettle bell snatch is a natural progression for those who have mastered the basic kettle bell swing. The move is demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train LA in Hollywood. What it does The swing-and-press movement works your back, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and shoulders. What to do From a standing position with feet more than shoulder-width apart, grab the kettle bell and swing it between your legs, keeping your spine in a neutral (not arched)
OPINION
July 24, 2010
Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo has announced his resignation from his $787,637 a year job, as have police Chief Randy Adams ($457,000) and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia ($376,288), and we wish all three a not-so-fond farewell. Even if they performed their work brilliantly, and even if they believed in their hearts that no one earning less could properly serve their problem-wracked city, their pay was shocking, and so utterly out of step with their counterparts in neighboring municipalities and their own struggling residents as to be inherently exploitive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Sentencing for former longtime Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo was postponed Wednesday but not before attorneys for the city and his former assistant said they intend to subpoena him to find out the inner details of the public corruption in the small Los Angeles County city. Rizzo, who remains free on bond, was ordered to return to court April 16, when it is expected he will be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison. Less clear is whether he will be permitted to serve the time concurrently with a federal sentence for filing false tax returns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Angela Spaccia's upcoming sentencing for her role in the Bell scandal could bring a first in the long-running corruption case - the testimony of Robert Rizzo. The former city administrator, who became a symbol of greed and government corruption, has never spoken publicly about the case. He pleaded no contest to 69 felony corruption charges last year rather than stand trial. But now, the attorney for Rizzo's former assistant said he would subpoena Rizzo in an effort to get him to reveal details of the wrongdoing in the small, working-class city.
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