Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsVictor Bello
IN THE NEWS

Victor Bello

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Five former council members in scandal-plagued Bell have been given until next week to decide whether to accept a plea bargain that could put them behind bars for as long as four years. If the onetime council members in the small, working-class city refuse to take the offer, they could spend twice as many years behind bars. A hearing at which the ex-politicians are expected to decide whether to take the deal or risk going to trial was postponed until April 9. The ex-council members are accused of drawing extraordinary salaries by serving on boards and commissions that seldom, if ever, met. By the time they were driven from office in 2010, they were making as much as $100,000 a year for their part-time work.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Kate Mather and Ruben Vives
Five former political leaders in the scandal-plagued city of Bell have agreed to plead no contest to corruption charges and could be sentenced to up to four years in prison for their role in looting the treasury of one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities. Had the former council members refused to take the offer, they could have been sentenced to twice as many years behind bars. The ex-council members are accused of drawing extraordinary salaries by serving on boards and commissions that seldom, if ever, met. By the time they were removed from office in 2010, they were making up to $100,000 a year for their part-time work.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
A Superior Court judge Friday told a Los Angeles prosecutor and the attorneys for five Bell council members facing a second trial on corruption charges that they should settle the case. In what was expected to be a routine pre-trial conference Friday, Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the attorneys that they needed to make a serious effort to resolve the 2010 case. The trial of the six former council members ended in March after the jury deliberated for 17 days. The council members were charged with being paid for sitting on city boards that seldom met, if ever, boosting their salaries as high as $100,000 a year for part-time work.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ruben Vives and Richard Winton
Lawyers for five former Bell City Council members asked for more time Friday to consider whether to accept a deal in which their clients would get maximum four-year prison sentences in exchange for pleading guilty to corruption charges. All five must accept the district attorney's offer or it will be taken off the table. It appeared Friday that one or more of the former city leaders was balking at the deal. The hearing was delayed until April 3. Last year, all five were convicted on charges that they inflated their paychecks, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on nearly half of the counts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Angela Spaccia, the former Bell assistant city administrator accused of public corruption. Court officials said the jury would be read as soon as the defendant and prosecutors were gathered in the courthouse. Spaccia is being tried on 13 counts of felony corruption, including misappropriation of public funds. Prosecutors contended she and her boss, Robert Rizzo, raided the town's treasury by giving themselves huge salaries and extraordinary retirement benefits even as the city was starting to run out of money.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb
Five former Bell council members accused of looting the small city are scheduled to be in court Friday to consider an offer of a maximum four-year prison term in exchange for their guilty pleas. The former leaders already face possible eight-year prison terms after being convicted on related corruption charges last year, making the four-year offer attractive. Friday's court hearing could bring the city's corruption saga to an end if the council members plead guilty. Last year, the five council members were convicted on charges that they inflated their paychecks but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on nearly half the counts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 | By Corina Knoll
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office plans to retry the case against Bell council members accused of misappropriating public funds by overpaying themselves for sitting on city boards and authorities that rarely met, according to defense attorneys connected with the case. In March, a jury delivered a mixed verdict for Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal, finding them guilty on multiple felony counts and acquitting them on other charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The five former Bell council members convicted in a corruption case filed suit Friday against the former city attorney and his law firm, saying the convictions were the result of bad legal advice. The lawsuit charges Edward Lee and Best, Best & Krieger with legal malpractice, breach of contract and negligent representation for not telling council members that their high salaries may have been illegal. The suit says that Lee and his firm did not object that council members were paid extra for sitting on various city boards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2013 | By Corina Knoll, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Former Bell City Councilman Luis Artiga is the only former official who will not be retried for corruption. Artiga, a pastor in Bell , was the only council member fully acquitted by a jury in March on charges of misappropriating public funds and overpaying himself for sitting on boards that rarely met. "Yes, I do regret being on the council," Artiga said in March after the verdict. "I went there to serve the community of Bell. " FULL COVERAGE: Corruption in Bell Prosecutors said they will not appeal the jury's decision.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The five former Bell council members convicted in a corruption case filed suit Friday against the former city attorney and his law firm, saying the convictions were the result of bad legal advice. The lawsuit charges Edward Lee and Best, Best & Krieger with legal malpractice, breach of contract and negligent representation for not telling council members that their high salaries may have been illegal. The suit says that Lee and his firm did not object that council members were paid extra for sitting on various city boards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ruben Vives and Richard Winton
Lawyers for five former Bell City Council members asked for more time Friday to consider whether to accept a deal in which their clients would get maximum four-year prison sentences in exchange for pleading guilty to corruption charges. All five must accept the district attorney's offer or it will be taken off the table. It appeared Friday that one or more of the former city leaders was balking at the deal. The hearing was delayed until April 3. Last year, all five were convicted on charges that they inflated their paychecks, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on nearly half of the counts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb
Five former Bell council members accused of looting the small city are scheduled to be in court Friday to consider an offer of a maximum four-year prison term in exchange for their guilty pleas. The former leaders already face possible eight-year prison terms after being convicted on related corruption charges last year, making the four-year offer attractive. Friday's court hearing could bring the city's corruption saga to an end if the council members plead guilty. Last year, the five council members were convicted on charges that they inflated their paychecks but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on nearly half the counts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
A Superior Court judge Friday told a Los Angeles prosecutor and the attorneys for five Bell council members facing a second trial on corruption charges that they should settle the case. In what was expected to be a routine pre-trial conference Friday, Judge Kathleen Kennedy told the attorneys that they needed to make a serious effort to resolve the 2010 case. The trial of the six former council members ended in March after the jury deliberated for 17 days. The council members were charged with being paid for sitting on city boards that seldom met, if ever, boosting their salaries as high as $100,000 a year for part-time work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Angela Spaccia, the former Bell assistant city administrator accused of public corruption. Court officials said the jury would be read as soon as the defendant and prosecutors were gathered in the courthouse. Spaccia is being tried on 13 counts of felony corruption, including misappropriation of public funds. Prosecutors contended she and her boss, Robert Rizzo, raided the town's treasury by giving themselves huge salaries and extraordinary retirement benefits even as the city was starting to run out of money.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2013 | By Corina Knoll
More than two months after a jury deadlocked on nearly half the counts and handed a mixed verdict to five ex-Bell City Council members, prosecutors announced plans Wednesday to retry the corruption case. News of the retrial surfaced last week, but prosecutors met Wednesday with L.A. County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy to officially begin proceedings to retry Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal. The five were found guilty in March on multiple felony counts of misappropriating public funds by overpaying themselves for sitting on city boards and authorities that rarely met. Luis Artiga was the only defendant to win full acquittal; he cannot be retried.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|