'Bell 6' trial starts Thursday

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From left, former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez, former councilman Luis Artiga, former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia and former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo at a 2011 preliminary hearing. Spaccia and Rizzo will stand trial after the "Bell 6" trial.

The criminal trial of six former Bell city council members known as the "Bell 6" gets underway Thursday. They stand accused of looting the city's treasury to inflate their salaries. 

After sifting through dozens of potential jurors, attorneys have selected eight women and four men to sit on the panel.  

Prosecutors say Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal collected money for serving on boards that met rarely, if at all.  They each were making nearly $100,000 a year for their part-time jobs.

The accused have pleaded not guilty.  All six face prison time if they’re convicted.

Two major figures in the Bell scandal -  former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia - will stand trial after this one wraps up.


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