Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The former city manager of Bell, Calif., accused of being the architect of the corruption scandal that nearly bankrupted the small blue-collar city in the suburbs of Los Angeles, was found guilty of 11 felony counts Monday.
Angela Spaccia, who wrote her own contract for a $564,000-a-year salary, is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison. Spaccia is the last of seven officials to be charged after the summer 2010 revelations rocked the city and cost it more than $6.7 million.
Spaccia's former boss, erstwhile Mayor Robert Rizzo, pleaded no contest to 69 charges in October, and Spaccia's attorneys tried to paint the disgraced executive as being the mastermind of the city's wrongdoing that included exorbitant salaries, illegal taxes and lending of city money, and falsified documents.
Defense attorney Harland Braun said Spaccia was exploited and victimized by Rizzo and then-District Attorney Steve Cooley in his campaign for state attorney general, arguing she spent much of the time during the wrongdoing caring for her ailing grandfather in Idaho and her son, who was injured in a motorcycle accident.
She admitted to knowing it was unethical to take such a large salary, but said she had not broken the law.
But prosecutors, while blaming Rizzo as the boss, said Spaccia "made what he wanted to happen, happen" in her seven years as a city employee. They turned flippant texts between Spaccia and Randy Adams, for whom she wrote a $457,000 annual paycheck as police chief, joking about the money.
"You can take your share of the pie... just like us!!!" she texted him. "We will all get fat together... Bob [Rizzo] has an expression he like to use on occasion... Pigs get Fat... Hogs get slaughtered!!! So long as we're not Hogs... all is well!!"
Spaccia said she regretted the jokes.
She was remanded on custody after the judge denied a request for her to remain free on bail while she made arrangements for her son, who suffers brain injuries from his accident.
"The defendant has had plenty of time to prepare for this eventuality," Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett told the judge.
[Los Angeles Times]