Nearly four years after the City of Bell scandal captured the attention of California and the nation, justice will finally be served.
Five former councilman from Bell—a city with just over 35,000 residents and one of LA County’s poorest cities—have agreed to plead no contest to corruption charges for their role in the public’s deception. They face up to four years in prison for this charge alone.
When former councilmembers George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo, Victor Bello and George Mirabal were in office, they collected a salary of almost $100,000 each for their part-time role with the city. They also served in office when the broader Bell scandal took root—which involved city manager Robert Rizzo and his brazen attempt to collect hundreds of thousands worth in salary and loans.
The five former councilmembers were convicted last year on the count of misappropriating public funds but the jury could not decide on the other charges, leaving them either at the grace of a district attorney’s plea deal or possibly facing a second trial.
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.