Former assistant city manager of Bell, Calif., Angela Spaccia who is charged with misappropriation of public funds and other counts, listens to opening statements in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Spaccia is accused of setting exorbitantly high salaries for Bell city employees and devising a paper trail to hide them. Her annual salary was $375,000. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, Pool)
Defense attorney Harland Braun wrapped up questioning his client Wednesday, Bell’s ex-assistant city manager Angela Spaccia. She has spent four days on the stand, testifying in her own defense during her public corruption trial. Spaccia faces 13 felony counts, including misappropriation of public funds.
Spaccia discussed the highly scrutinized emails from 2009 between herself and Randy Adams, the then incoming Bell police chief. In that email correspondence, Spaccia said she quoted an expression former city manager Robert Rizzo used: “Pigs get Fat ... Hogs get slaughtered!” She said she wrote to Adams: “so as long as we're not hogs ... All is well”
The ex-assistant city manager described her email exchange with Adams as “jousting” during contract negotiations. She said she regrets it happened.
Spaccia told jurors she was actually irritated that Adams was negotiating changes to his contract, even after he was offered a salary of $457,000 a year to come on as chief of police.
She said she was disgusted that Adams complained about possibly losing a couple of weeks pay when he was going to be making so much money.
Prosecutors say Spaccia and Rizzo schemed to pay themselves high salaries with taxpayer dollars. Spaccia denies that and says she had no control over pubic funds.
The prosecution is expected to begin its cross-examination of the defendant on Thursday.