The chance that six former Bell officials are let off the hook are slim. In fact, when they were arraigned last year, the judge who took their pleas lambasted them and said that the prosecution should stick them with more charges.

But that didn’t keep them from moving to dismiss all corruption charges against them. Their lawyers planned to argue that in 2005, some 300 voters gave them the authority to pay themselves $100,000 per year in salary.

In the unlikely event that the corruption charges are dropped, the defendants may still face charges. They are facing other investigations from county agencies, the DA’s office, state prosecutors, and the federal government.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Six former Bell council members are asking a Superior Court judge to dismiss corruption charges against them, arguing that voters in the small Los Angeles County city gave them the authority to draw the annual salaries of nearly $100,000 that prosecutors say amounted to thievery.

When just over 300 voters went to the polls in 2005 and approved a little-noticed ballot measure declaring Bell a charter city, it allowed council members to get around state laws that limited how much they could be paid, defense lawyers say.

Read the full article here.