The city of Bell paid $10,000 for former councilman George Cole to go to a weight-loss camp and also paid for Mayor Oscar Hernandez to get hair plugs, prosecutors said Thursday.
The revelations came Thursday as former councilwoman Teresa Jacobo testified during the corruption trial of Angela Spaccia, Bell’s onetime second in command, who is charged with 13 corruption-related felonies.
Jacobo said she knew Cole had gone to a weight loss camp but didn’t know about Hernandez’ hair transplants.
Huntsman also showed Jacobo a document showing that she could have received a lifetime pension of $57,000 a year after serving only six years on the council.
Jacobo was convicted earlier this year, along with four other former council members, for being paid for meetings of city boards that met seldom, if ever. They have not been sentenced.
In her testimony, Jacobo made it clear that she relied on former Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo to run the small city and never challenged him and that she didn’t read everything in her agenda packets the city gave her prior to council meetngs.
Jacobo testified that Rizzo got angry if she spoke to city staff without going through him.
She said that when she heard that rent money was missing from the city-owned mobile home park, she spoke to city employees who supervised the facility.
“I got scolded,” she said. “Mr. Rizzo said it was none of my business and it was not part of my job and he was taking care of it.”
Rizzo, she said told her he would look into it.
“I believed him,” Jacobo said.
She said the only thing that came of it was that the woman who told her about the missing funds was fired.
She said she never spoke to police or the district attorney about the missing money.