Jury selection begins in Bell corruption case

Opening Hearing For Bell City Administrators

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Attorney James Spertus, right, talks to his client former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo as the court waits for a witness during a preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court Feb. 22, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Jury selection has opened in the corruption case against former city of Bell official Angela Spaccia, with prospective jurors asked to fill out lengthy questionnaires.

RELATED: Robert Rizzo, former Bell city manager, pleads no contest in corruption case

Spaccia was the lone defendant Monday because her boss, former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, entered a surprise plea of no contest to 69 charges last week. He may testify against her. 

Spaccia faces 13 counts of misappropriation of funds and conflict of interest in a scandal that brought the small blue collar city to the brink of bankruptcy.

Questionnaires ask jurors what they know about Bell, Rizzo and Spaccia. They are asked their opinions of public officials and whether they would be concerned about public and media reactions to their verdict. A 60-day trial is expected.
 

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