Ex-City Official Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
One of the architects of a massive corruption scandal that nearly bankrupted the modest Los Angeles suburb of Bell was sentenced Thursday to nearly 12 years in prison by a judge who called her a con artist.
Former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia was also ordered to make more than $8 million in restitution to Bell.
Spaccia was the first of seven former public officials to be sentenced for their roles in the scandal that authorities said cost the small, working-class city more than $5.5 million. More than a quarter of Bell's 36,000 residents live below the federal poverty line.
Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley once described the scandal as "corruption on steroids."
"This was not a one-time lapse of judgment on defendant Spaccia's part; it was a criminally sophisticated conspiracy that drove the city of Bell to the edge of bankruptcy," prosecutors wrote in a memo to Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy that sought a sentence of 12 years, eight months.
The judge gave the former official, who has been incarcerated since her conviction, 11 years and eight months. She could have sentenced her to as long as 17 years.
Spaccia was convicted in December of 11 criminal counts, including misappropriation of public funds, conspiracy and falsification of government records.