Bell corruption case: Prosecutors focus on city loans, employee contracts

City Corruption Trial

Al Seib/Pool/AP

Former assistant city manager of Bell, Angela Spaccia, center, who is charged with misappropriation of public funds and other counts, listens to opening statements in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.

A prosecutor pressed defendant Angela Spaccia Friday about city loans, employee contracts and supersized salaries in the ongoing Bell public corruption trial.

The former assistant city manager maintained that the city charter gave her boss, Bell's ex-city administrator Robert Rizzo, authority to approve employment agreements without city council approval.

With Spaccia on the witness stand, Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett sometimes raised his voice as he suggested the city charter did not give Rizzo that power.

RELATED: Bell's ex-city assistant manager Spaccia to be questioned by the prosecution in public corruption trial

At one point,  Hassett asked Spaccia about significant amounts of vacation and sick time she collected that were apparently used to pay back tens of thousands of dollars she owed in city loans. Spaccia said Rizzo directed her to cash out the time in that manner.

When the prosecutor suggested there was never a legitimate city loan program, Spaccia – who appeared flustered – said she believed there was.  

Jurors also heard testimony about a resolution the Bell city council passed in 2006. Hassett suggested that a stipulation that gave Rizzo sole authority to approve city business deals was added after the vote. Spaccia said she had nothing to do with any such action. She called it “pretty disgusting.” 

Testimony is scheduled to continue Monday.

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