Corruption on Steroids: Bell Official Sentenced to Nearly 12 Years

Corruption on Steroids: Bell Official Sentenced to Nearly 12 Years

The former Assistant City Manager in the scandal-ridden city of Bell was sentenced to spend 11 years and eight months  in prison and pay $8 million in restitution for misappropriating public funds. 

Angela Spaccia was the first of eight city leaders sentenced for a massive looting of the city’s treasury that was so pervasive that Steve Cooley, a former district attorney, referred to it as “corruption on steroids.” According to city staffers, Spaccia was so obsessed with money they joked that she was “sleeping with her paycheck.”

And, a hefty paycheck it was. According to the Los Angeles Times, Spaccia was receiving a  $564,000-a-year salary from a small city that is considered to be one of the poorest in all of Los Angeles County. 

In December, she was  convicted on 11 felony counts related to writing illegal contracts, receiving illegal loans in excess of $200,000 and creating illegal pension plans for herself and her boss, City Manager Robert Rizzo, which would have bilked the city for an additional $15.5 million. The Times reported in March that some prosecutors allege that Rizzo was the mastermind of the corruption.

The Times noted that Spaccia’ s own emails ultimately did her in. In one exchange, she told her longtime friend and Bell’s police chief, Randy Adam, while constructing his sizable $457,000-a-year contract, “We all can get fat together.” She shared with Adams one of Rizzo’s favorite sayings: “Pigs get Fat…Hogs get slaughtered!!! So long as we’re not Hogs…all is well!!” 

Photo: Al Seib/AP