Scales of Justice

By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
December 9, 2013, 7:28 p.m.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said prosecutors will seek the maximum sentence against Angela Spaccia, the former Bell official convicted Monday on 11 counts of misappropriating public funds and other corruption charges.

Prosecutors said Spaccia faces a prison term of more than 10 years. Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett said he thought Spaccia would receive a sentence similar to the 10 to 12 years L.A. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she would give former city manager Robert Rizzo.

Spaccia, Hassett said, “was unrepentant and refused to accept any responsibility for her actions.” That was in contrast to Rizzo, who pleaded no contest to 69 counts.

Marco Islas, 49, also known as Juror No. 1, said the guilty verdicts were not necessarily about the amount of money involved.

“It was the way things were done,” said Islas, a package delivery worker who lives in Los Angeles.

In a news conference, Lacey said that what Bell officials had engaged in was “grand theft paycheck.”

“I am pleased the jury viewed this extremely complex case for precisely what it was — greed,” she said.

She said Bell was was the most significant case the district attorney’s public corruption unit had ever prosecuted. She called the seven Bell officials who have been convicted “crooks masquerading as public servants.”

Lacey said she planned to swear in members of the Artesia City Council on Monday night, and she hoped they were listening.

“Just because you have been elected doesn’t give you the right to steal,” she said.

Asked about comments by Spaccia’s lawyer, Harland Braun, that the charges against her were political, Lacey replied, “I never saw it was a political prosecution. These were thieves.”

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