Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Ruben Vives about the city of Bell, which is back in the spotlight after the city’s former police chief testified in the corruption trial of former city official Angela Spaccia.
Adams testified as a defense witness for Spaccia on Wednesday, backing up her assertion that it was former City Administrator Robert Rizzo, not her, who called the shots in Bell. But at the same time Adams filled in some of the blanks of Spaccia’s role.
Rizzo pleaded no contest to 69 corruption-related charges last month and is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison. He claimed that Spaccia was the mastermind of the corruption.
Spaccia is one of eight Bell officials who were accused of looting the city treasury to pay themselves excessive salaries. Adams was not charged, even though his $457,000 salary was one of the largest in the city and more than either the Los Angeles police chief or L.A. County sheriff made.
Until now, Adams has said little about the Bell scandal. When he was asked about his days in Bell during a pension hearing last year, Adams invoked the 5th Amendment nearly two dozen times. He refused to answer basic questions about the salary or the even larger retirement paycheck he stood to collect.
Adams testified that he was initially reluctant to take the job in Bell because of the long legacy of corruption in the city in southeast Los Angeles County.