From left Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez, former council members Luis Artiga, former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia and former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo appear during a preliminary hearing.
The indictment against Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia was unsealed Wednesday. The case involves new charges of misappropriating public funds, conflict of interest, falsifying public documents and secreting public documents.
The indictment alleges that Spaccia drafted employment contracts for herself and Rizzo that gave them both significant pay raises without the City Council's approval. Rizzo ordered the creation of false contracts dividing his salary into five parts to make it look like his salary was "much smaller than it was," according to the indictment.
The indictment also alleges that Rizzo and Spaccia falsified documents purporting to be contracts for former police Chief Randy Adams and hid documents indicating that he was being paid nearly $10,000 more per pay period.
Rizzo, Spaccia, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal and Luis Artiga and former council members Victor Bello and George Cole were charged last September in a case accusing them of bilking taxpayers out of roughly $5.5 million through lofty salaries, benefits and illicit loans of public money. Rizzo and other top city officials stepped down last July after the scandal over their hefty salaries were reported by the LA Times.
Artiga resigned shortly after the criminal charges were filed. Hernandez, Mirabal and Jacobo were recalled from office earlier this month.