Societal

Guilty: The ex-assistant city manager facing 17 years jail for ‘corruption on steroids’ by approving enormous salaries and nearly bankrupting the city

  • Angela Spaccia, 55, found guilty of 11 corruption charges by jury today
  • Bell, Los Angeles officials said to be guilty of ‘grand theft by paycheck’
  • Her former boss Robert Rizzo had previously admitted 69 charges

By  Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:24 EST, 10 December 2013 |  UPDATED: 11:49 EST, 10 December 2013

This was the moment a former city official was led away in handcuffs as she was found guilty of a string of corruption charges after pushing a neighbourhood to the brink of bankruptcy.

Former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia brought the Los Angeles suburb of Bell – an area where more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line – to its knees by approving enormous salaries of fellow officials.

Jurors today found Spaccia guilty of 11 charges including conspiracy, misappropriating public funds, and falsification of public records.

Former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia is led away in handcuffs after being found guilty of a string of corruption charges 

Former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia is led away in handcuffs after being found guilty of a string of corruption charges

Angela Spaccia, the former second in command in scandal-plagued Bell, is pictured in court yesterday 

Angela Spaccia, the former second in command in scandal-plagued Bell, is pictured in court yesterday

 

 

District Attorney Jackie Lacey called the verdict ‘a victory for the people’ saying that they were cheated out of $6million when Bell officials committed ‘grand theft by paycheck’.

Spaccia did not react to the verdict, but her mother and sister sobbed in the public gallery as the guilty verdict was read out.

Although the maximum sentence for Spaccia’s crimes is 17 years, the DA’s office said that she is likely to receive a much lighter jail term.

Spaccia was acquitted of hiding a public document involving the police chief’s contract. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy also declared a mistrial on another count after jurors deadlocked.

During the trial Spaccia, 55, testified that she knew she was making too much money when her salary exceeded $340,000, but she maintained it wasn’t criminal.

She was left to stand trial alone after her former boss, Robert Rizzo, pleaded no contest to 69 corruption charges.

During the trial Spaccia, 55, testified that she knew she was making too much money when her salary exceeded $340,000, but she maintained it wasn't criminal 

During the trial Spaccia, 55, testified that she knew she was making too much money when her salary exceeded $340,000, but she maintained it wasn’t criminal

 

Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett said: ‘She was unrepentant and refused to take any responsibility for her actions. They were thieves who used their power to steal money.’

Spaccia began her job in 2003, and at first it appeared from the evidence that she was merely acting on Rizzo’s orders ‘like a brainwash,’ juror Marco Islas said outside court.

But by 2008 or 2009, things had changed.

‘At the end, she knew what she was doing,’ Islas said.

By the end of her tenure, prosecutors said, Spaccia was making $564,000 a year in salary and other compensation
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