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Maven's Morning Coffee: Bell officials take the stand, feds file in Dorner case, former deputy mayor questions city's numbers

The district attorney has called it
The district attorney has called it "corruption on steroids" and now former Bell city officials are taking to the witness stand to defend themselves.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Tuesday, Feb. 12 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Two former Bell city officials took to the witness stand Monday to defend themselves in a case the district attorney has called "corruption on steroids," reports the Los Angeles Times. "Prosecutors have depicted the defendants as salary gluttons who put their city on a path toward bankruptcy," according to the newspaper.

Critics of the Los Angeles Police Department say the disciplinary process is stacked in the department's favor, according to KPCC. "LAPD officers on the boards fear they won't be promoted if they go against the department. And the civilian member of the Board of Rights fears not being brought back to hear more cases if they offend the LAPD," according to one attorney who has represented officers.

Meanwhile, a federal affidavit suggests why authorities believe Christopher Dorner may have headed to Mexico. The document also suggests that Dorner may have had help in his crime spree, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A former deputy mayor, who is also a candidate for the Los Angeles City Council, tells the Los Angeles Times that city officials are overstating the city's financial problems. Matt Szabo told the newspaper, "The question people need to ask is, is [the shortfall] being overstated for the purpose of passing the sales tax?" LA's projected deficit for next fiscal year is $216 million. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Measure A, per KPCC.

LAUSD Board Member Tamar Galatzan penned an op-ed for the Daily News, making the case for investment in technology. "Today's students must become proficient with technology to be successful. Waiting for the perfect alignment of resources and policy could shortchange a generation of students," she writes. The school board is expected to vote on a $50 million technology plan later today.

Southern California state Sen. Fran Pavley was appointed to the state Parks and Recreation Commission, reports the Ventura County Star.

Where to Find the Politicians

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will speak in support of parents at 24th Street Elementary School who submitted a "parent trigger" petition. Benny H. Potter West Adams Avenues Memorial Park at 10 a.m.

At 5 p.m., L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge will celebrate the 93rd birthday of actor Jerry Maren, who made his film debut as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz.


9 a.m. Information Technology and General Services Committee, City Hall, room 1010

10 a.m. Los Angeles City Council, City Hall, Council Chamber

2 p.m. Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee, City Hall, room 1010

2:30 p.m. Planning and Land Use Management Committee, City Hall, room 350


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