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Ex-Bell mayor's store is vandalized with graffiti after sentencing

CrimeVandalismCity of Bell Public Corruption ScandalMark Berndt
Ex-Bell mayor's family store is vandalized after his prison sentence is handed down
Graffiti artist targets former mayor of Bell's grocery store
'Go Away' reads a graffiti drawing at grocery store once operated by former mayor of Bell

A day after former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez was sentenced to a year in county jail for his role in a public corruption case that nearly left the town bankrupt, the mugshot of Robert Rizzo -- the man at the heart of the scandal -- was tagged on the walls of his grocery store.

Terry Dixon, an acting sergeant for the Bell Police Department, said the vandalism was reported Friday morning at the corner of Bell and Bear avenues.

The drawing on the front wall of Hernandez's grocery store depicts Rizzo's DUI mugshot, complete with horns and the words "Go Away."

A similar drawing of the disgraced city administrator was spray-painted on a wall facing an elementary school, with the words "Thief" next to it, according to witnesses and Dixon.

It's the first time the street art of Rizzo's mugshot has appeared in the small town of southeast Los Angeles County.

Dixon said the vandalism appears to be connected to a street artist who has made similar drawings elsewhere.

The drawings began appearing as far back as 2011, almost a year after the corruption scandal was made public.

"Mysterizzo?" and "Animal in Man" have appeared with some of the renderings, which have included depictions of former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt's mugshot. Berndt was at the center of a sexual abuse scandal.

Dixon said graffiti removers have painted over the drawings.  

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CrimeVandalismCity of Bell Public Corruption ScandalMark Berndt
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