Bell Corruption Trial Testimony Focuses on Salaries

Angela Spaccia signed payment authorization to bump up her boss's salary

By Gordon Tokumatsu and Daisy Lin
|  Friday, Nov 8, 2013  |  Updated 8:29 PM PDT
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The Bell corruption trial continued Friday and answered questions of how city officials got six-figure salaries. City Manager Robert Rizzo was at the center of the testimony. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Friday Nov. 8, 2013.

Gordon Tokumatsu

The Bell corruption trial continued Friday and answered questions of how city officials got six-figure salaries. City Manager Robert Rizzo was at the center of the testimony. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Friday Nov. 8, 2013.

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Testimony Friday in the Bell corruption trial centered around money and how the officials in city hall were able to get astronomical salaries.

The City of Bell's notorious city manager, Robert Rizzo, was once again at the heart of Friday's testimony.

The question -- how did his salary suddenly jump to $40k a month back in 2005?

On the hot seat for a second time today, Rizzo's assistant, and the corruption trial's lone defendant Angela Spaccia told jurors she "didn't think there was anything wrong" when she signed payment authorization to bump up her boss' salary.

Her attorney Harland Braun said she thought it was the city council that authorized it.

"Turns out that it didn't, but she thought it did," Braun said.

On Wednesday, Bell's former police chief defended his exorbitant, $500,000 salary on the witness stand.  He said half of that was compensation for retirement money he was losing by taking the job after leaving Glendale Police Department.

Prosecutors called Covina Police Department's Chief Kim Raney to the witness stand.

Raney told the jury about a private conversation he'd had with Adams where Adams estimated his salary to be around $250,000, completely omitting the extra $260,000.

Prosecutors believe Adams and Spaccia were involved in a "conspiracy" to line their own pockets with public funds -- a claim with which Raney agreed.

 

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