Jurors heard opening statements Wednesday in the corruption trial of former Bell assistant manager Angela Spaccia, who’s charged with more than one dozen felony counts that accuse her of helping Robert Rizzo loot the City’s treasury between 2003 and 2010.
L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman began his case by showing jurors a slide of the Bell city seal with bundles of cash stacked on top, and quickly positioned the evidence to blame Spaccia – not Rizzo – for creating and hiding the City’s excessive salaries.
“Rizzo earned $200,000 a year in 2001. Then Ms. Spaccia arrived,” Huntsman said. “After Ms. Spaccia came to Bell, Rizzo was making more than $1-million a year.”
Huntsman said it was Spaccia who worked with a Wells Fargo banker to craft unique, extraordinarily lucrative retirement plans for herself and Rizzo that would have cost Bell more than $15-million had the scheme remained hidden.
It was Spaccia, Huntsman continued, who drafted secretive illegal employment contracts on her personal computer for Rizzo, herself, and former Bell police chief Randy Adams.
Spaccia appeared in court in a gray blazer. Her defense attorney Harland Braun has said she will take the witness stand in her own defense during the trial.
-- Eric Leonard at Criminal Court (@leonardfiles)