Angela Spaccia, the former assistant city administrator in Bell, was found guilty today on 11 of 13 counts of felony corruption, including misappropriation of public funds. She was found not guilty on one charge; another ended in a hung jury. Prosecutors contended she and her boss, Robert Rizzo, conspired to raid the small city's treasury with huge salaries and lavish retirement benefits. Rizzo pleaded no contest earlier and escaped trial.
Ruben Vives, one of the LA Times reporters whose investigations helped lead to the charges, posted on Twitter: "Angela Spaccia's family are in the back court room, holding hands and crying as counts are being read. One shook her head."
The city of Bell quickly sent out a news release hailing the guilty verdicts.
Today’s guilty verdict for Angela Spaccia marks another major milestone for the City of Bell. The guilty verdicts in March for the former Bell Councilmembers, and the no-contest plea by Robert Rizzo last month along with today’s decision help bring to a close a chapter in Bell’s history that is disgraceful, but also will never be forgotten. Justice has been served with Angela Spaccia, and the citizens of Bell can now look to building a brighter future as the City recovers from the devastating crimes committed by these individuals.
Bell Mayor Violeta Alvarez, who regularly attended the Spaccia trial, was relieved that Spaccia’s charade did not work. “I’m glad the jury did not believe her act on the stand. I believe she was the brain behind many of the schemes to loot the city’s treasury. She deserves to go to jail for many years. We have worked tirelessly to rebuild the city from the corruption that Spaccia helped to create and we will not rest until we have fully recovered. I thank the District Attorney for the hard work they have done to bring justice for the City of Bell.”
City Manager Doug Willmore is looking to the future. “The citizens of Bell intend to write their own future. I predict that the story they write will be about the hard work that they have done to dig out of the crater that Spaccia and Rizzo and Adams and the crooked Councilmembers left the city in. I predict that at the end of the day, the story will be about a thriving and successful community that took their City back and created something great. We are on our way to that future right now.”