Eight women, four men and six alternates were selected Wednesday as jurors in the corruption trial of six former Bell City Councilmembers. Opening statements are slated to begin 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Patrick Healy reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2013.
Eight women, four men and six alternates were selected Wednesday as jurors in the corruption trial of six former Bell City Councilmembers.
Opening statements were scheduled to begin 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
The "Bell 6" -- Victor Bello, Luis Artiga, George Mirabal, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Cole -- served as part-time councilmembers, each drawing city compensation of nearly a $100,000 a year.
The city's former manager, Robert Rizzo, pictured below, and former assistant city administrator Angela Spaccia are being tried separately on suspicion of misappropriation of public funds and other counts. Rizzo received more than $800,000 a year in salary and Spaccia received more than $400,000 in salary from the working-class city.
During a pre-trial hearing earlier in the day, Rizzo's attorney, James Spertus, said that he wants to move the trial out of LA to get away from the bad publicity.
"We're going to see a venue where there's just far less coverage," Spertus said.
On Wednesday, Spaccia's attorney announced that his client passed a polygraph exam that proves she's innocent. Harland Braun provided a copy of the test results Wednesday to prosecutor Sean Hassett, who has yet to comment on the report.
"If they're convinced she's innocent, they have an ethical duty to dismiss the case," Braun said.
The test was administered by examiner Jack Trimarco, noted for testing Giovanni Ramirez, an early suspect in the Dodger Stadium beating case, and Lois Goodman, the tennis referee accused of murdering her husband. Trimarco found both truthful in their denials, and both were subsequently exonerated.