Bell trial: Rizzo not on the witness list, but ex-police chief is
Former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams, forced from his post when a salary scandal erupted in the small, middle-class town, is listed as a potential witness in the upcoming corruption trial of Angela Spaccia, once the second in command in the city.
Adams, who was earning $457,000 when the high City Hall salaries were exposed in 2010, is among 35 people named on a witness list in Spaccia’s trial.
Spaccia faces 13 felony counts of public corruption. When her former boss, Robert Rizzo, pleaded no contest to 69 charges, that left Spaccia alone to face the most serious charges in the sweeping corruption scandal, which has already resulted in guilty verdicts against five former council members.
Adams was named in a civil suit filed by then-Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown in 2010, alleging he and his co-workers conspired to loot the city treasury.
But he was not charged in the criminal case and has kept a low profile in recent years.
In addition to Adams, the witness list includes three former council members who recently stood trial for misappropriation of funds: George Mirabal, Teresa Jacobo and Luis Artiga. Mirabal and Jacobo were convicted; Artiga was acquitted.
Former Bell City Atty. Edward Lee and Thomas Brown, the city’s contract attorney, are on the witness list as well. In addition to his work with the city, Brown’s law firm handled personal matters for some ranking Bell officials, such as Rizzo’s arrest for driving under the influence.
Another potential witness is James Corcoran, the former Bell police sergeant who said he was forced into retirement in retaliation for reporting corruption in the city. Corcoran later was reinstated, and the city agreed to pay him back wages and pick up his attorney fees.
Rizzo’s attorney said his client was prepared to testify against Spaccia, but his name does not appear on the jury list.
Jury selection continues Tuesday.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.