Did Angela Spaccia try to blow whistle on Maywood corruption?

Angela Spaccia -- the city of Bell’s former second-in-command -- tried on the witness stand Tuesday to paint herself as a potential whistleblower for corruption in a neighboring city. 

Months before the scandal in Bell broke, Spaccia said she left seven phone messages with the district attorney’s office to talk about the ongoing investigation in neighboring Maywood, where she was filling in as the city manager while still employed by Bell.

Harland Braun, Spaccia’s attorney, on Tuesday played a recording of a phone message his client left a deputy district attorney in March 2010.

“This is not the voice of someone trying to cover up fraud,” Braun told The Times.


“The D.A.'s office blew it,” Braun said of the Maywood investigation. “They had the opportunity to get in there and to help straighten it out.”

In a transcript of the call prepared by Braun’s office, Spaccia does not tell the D.A. she has evidence of a crime, but seems worried the investigation was affecting employees, calling it “an unfortunate situation.”

“I would really love to talk with you about the possibility of actually coming in and having you guys do your reviews and investigation soon,” she says.

“The employees are stressed to the max, there’s just so many issues going on and this pending, looming D.A. investigation is, gosh, the impact on the employees is I can’t even begin to explain. It’s just tremendous, and I would sure love to help them all just get past this and if there are any issues that need to be identified or resolved I would love to actually be part of that process in making this all happen.”


Spaccia testified she eventually got a call from Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Lentz Snyder, who said she would have someone call her. Spaccia said no one called her.

Although Braun said the call showed his client was offering to help the district attorney, one of the prosecutors in Spaccia’s ongoing trial contended she was actually trying to learn details about the Maywood investigation.

Assistant District Atty. Sean Hassett disputed Spaccia and Braun’s interpretation of her calls.

“She’s fishing,” Hassett said. “She wants to find out what we’re looking into, what we know, who we’re investigating, who are targets, what is the scope of investigation.”

Hassett declined to say whether Spaccia had been a target of the investigation.

The district attorney never charged anyone in Maywood and instead focused in on Bell, where eight city leaders — including Spaccia — were arrested in a sweeping corruption case several months later.

Spaccia will return to the witness stand on Wednesday and is expected to face cross-examination by prosecutors. 



Human remains found outside Victorville, excavation underway

Youth pastor slain in Pomona remembered as ‘big brother’ at vigil 

Woman found dead in her San Gabriel home was attacked, officials say 

Twitter: @gottliebjeff

Get our Essential California newsletter