Timeline: Bell Corruption Scandal

After a Los Angeles Times report on huge salaries for council officials in the small city, investigations were conducted and criminal charges were filed

By Andrew Lopez
|  Monday, Dec 2, 2013  |  Updated 12:54 PM PDT
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Mugshots Gallery: Eight Bell Officials Facing Corruption Charges

Jurors reached a verdict on March 20, 2013, after weeks of deliberation in the infamous "Bell 6" corruption trial.

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A look at the key events of the Bell corruption scandal, which sparked outrage when it was revealed that city officials from the small city were pocketing sky-high salaries.

July 15, 2010: The Los Angeles Times publishes an article titled “Is a city manager worth $800,000?” In it, they detail the high salaries for several Bell city officials, including a nearly $800,000 salary for city manager Robert Rizzo. The story draws widespread outrage.

Sep. 21, 2010: Eight Bell city officials are arrested as part of the investigation into the city’s salary scandal.

Feb. 7, 2011: A judge offers plea deals to several former Bell city council members, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lawyers for six of the defendants said their clients rejected the offers.

April 7, 2011: Five newly elected City Council members are sworn in after some former members are charged in connection with the salary scandal.

Jan. 25, 2013: Trial begins in the case of six former city of Bell officials, including the ex-mayor and five other council members.

March 20, 2013: Five former Bell City Council members accused of padding their paychecks are found guilty on half of the counts they each faced. Former Councilman Luis Artiga is the only defendant to go free after he was found not guilty on all 12 counts he faced.

  • Ex-mayor Oscar Hernandez: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilman George Mirabal: guilty on five counts; not guilty on five counts. No verdict on 10 counts.
  • Former Councilman Victor Bello: guilty on four counts; not guilty on four counts. No verdict on eight counts.
  • Former Councilman George Cole: guilty of two counts; not guilty on two counts. No verdict on four counts.

Oct. 3, 2013: Former city manager Robert Rizzo, who is at the center of a city government corruption scandal, pleads no contest to 69 counts. His sentence could range between 10-12 years.

Oct. 23, 2013: The trial of Angela Spaccia, the former assistant city manager of Bell, begins. She is accused of 13 felony corruption charges.

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