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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the public-corruption trial of Angela Spaccia --  the second-in-command in Bell when the city erupted in scandal. Under former city manager Robert Rizzo, Spaccia pulled in a salary of $376,000 a year and doubled as the top administrator in neighboring Maywood, a city that let go most of its civic employees after it lost its insurance in 2010. Rizzo pleaded no contest last week to 69 felony charges, including misappropriating public funds.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2013 | By Steve Marble
Dozens of potential jurors in the criminal trial of former Bell administrator Angela Spaccia are being asked to wade through a 93-question form that asks about their knowledge of the corruption case in the southeast Los Angeles County city. Beyond the standard questions about social media habits and feelings toward law enforcement, potential jurors are asked directly if they are familiar with the city of Bell or have any connection of the town. Jurors are even asked how close to the city they live.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
If Robert Rizzo wants to "make amends" to the city of Bell -- as his attorney said Thursday -- then members of a local activist group are expecting him to disclose more information about corruption in the city and others who may have participated in it. "If this is indeed true, and not just a legal tactic to avoid civil liability, then we will determine Mr. Rizzo's sincerity based on his actions and full disclosure of the extent of his corruption and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
A state appeals court ruled Friday that the working-class city of Bell will not have to pay the legal costs for Robert Rizzo, the former city manager who pleaded no contest this week to 69 counts of corruption-related crimes. The 3-0 ruling that Bell doesn't have to pay for Rizzo's defense in civil or criminal cases could save the city millions of dollars, said Anthony Taylor, Bell's lead litigation counsel. He said the decision also would apply to the other former officials who were charged in the Bell scandal, including six former City Council members and Angela Spaccia, the former assistant city manager whose trial is expected to start this month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013
Discuss former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo's no-contest plea and who's due in court next in the city's corruption scandal with Times reporter Ruben Vives at 9 a.m. 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.
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 would be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison.
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
October 1, 2013 | By Bob Pool
What goes around comes around, some in Long Beach are saying about a proposal to rebuild the city's famous seaside roller coaster. City Council members will be asked Tuesday night to authorize a feasibility study into the construction of a two-lane “racing” roller coaster on a 2½-acre site near either the Long Beach Aquarium or the Queen Mary. Backers of the project say they have lined up investors for what designer Larry Osterhoudt calls the Cyclone Racer coaster. City Council member Gerrie Schipske wants the city manager to determine the feasibility of the coaster project, which she said “would create considerable tourism dollars” for Long Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
When a pair of graduate students from little-known Brandman University dug out the salaries of top administrators at all 34 cities in Orange County and made them public, they were showered with praise. Cindy Smith and Janet Voshall testified before the state Legislature, were honored by the county board of supervisors and rode limousines to TV news shows. "I gave them an award because what they did was ethical, valid and honest," Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said. "Anybody that would question whether that was a righteous thing to do, that would immediately put up a red flag that I should be worried about them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013
The city of Vernon is giving Los Angeles County prosecutors a chance to examine a years-old report on the city's former city manager, Bruce V. Malkenhorst, who was convicted of corruption. Join us at 9 a.m when we talk with Times reporter Hector Becerra about the report and what it reveals about Malkenhorst. Nearly a decade ago, Vernon's city attorney launched a secret internal investigation into Malkenhorst, the small city's powerful administrator. The 85-page report alleged that Malkenhorst used hundreds of thousands of dollars in public funds for expenses, including massages and Christmas gifts for family and friends.
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