Skip to comments.6 standing trial for Bell, Calif., corruption
Posted on 01/24/2013 6:27:33 PM PST by Uncle Chip
LOS ANGELES (AP) A half dozen former officials of a scandal-ridden Southern California city heard a prosecutor paint them as thieves Thursday. But their lawyers told jurors in their trial that they were tireless workers for the good of the community of Bell.
Defense attorneys said their clients are being wrongly blamed for the misdeeds of a city manager who ripped off the city treasury for millions and a city attorney who never advised them they were giving themselves illegally huge salaries. Ronald Kaye, who represents former council member George Cole, said Robert Rizzo kept council members in the dark about what was going on as he systematically enriched himself at the expense of citizens.
"When he ripped off this city and these council members, he duped them," Kay said.
He depicted Cole as a dedicated resident of the small blue-collar community who worked for new schools and other benefits. If he was paid $70,000 a year for a part-time job, he said, "He believed that was reasonable." Kaye and other defense attorneys said the council jobs were actually full-time and more.
A lawyer for the former mayor, Oscar Hernandez, said he had only a sixth-grade education and was illiterate in English when he was tapped by Rizzo to join the council. Attorney Stanley Friedman said his client was tricked by Rizzo into signing documents he couldn't read, including those that gave city council members huge salaries for serving on what prosecutors said were sham city agencies that did nothing.
Lawyers also blamed the city attorney for failing to tell officials their salaries might be illegal. But a prosecutor said the officials knew what they were doing when they allegedly bilked their small town treasury of more than $1.3 million.
All six are charged with misappropriation of public funds.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
These 6 are but a tiny drop of water in a pail full of corrupt politicians.
And, their biggest crime is that they got caught!
Even my Mexican wife says they bring Mexico-style corruption to every city that is taken over by Latinos.
Bell is merely the latest example of the Reconquista of So. Cal.
And now their defense is they were too ignorant and stupid as they raked in large 6 figure salaries for doing practically nothing?
Typical AP slanted story. Fails to identify the political party affiliations of these alleged crooks. All Democrats according to posts on the original story site.
Why am I not surprised?