California News

Feb 2, 2013 11:56 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Witness: Bell official tried to confuse council

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former official in the Los Angeles suburb of Bell said the city's former top administrator purposely made resolutions ambiguous and complex to confuse City Council members.

The Los Angeles Times says (http://lat.ms/WdKX3g ) Lourdes Garcia, Bell's former director of administrative services, testified Friday in the corruption trial of six former council members. They're accused of illegally inflating their salaries by serving on boards that rarely met.

Garcia said former City Manager Robert Rizzo regarded council members as unsophisticated and easily manipulated. He included opaque language in resolutions so they'd have trouble understanding the documents, according to Garcia.

She also said Rizzo would hide public money from council members by placing it in a surplus property account, rather than the city's general fund.

Six former council members all face prison terms. Rizzo will be tried this summer.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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