From City New Service:
LOS ANGELES – Eight current and former officials including alleged ringleader Robert Rizzo, have pleaded not guilty to looting millions of dollars from the city of Bell’s treasury.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merritt ordered them to return to court Dec. 8 for a preliminary hearing. None of the eight, including Bell’s mayor, vice mayor and ousted city manager spoke in court Thursday except to say “yes” when Merritt asked if they were agreeable to the hearing date.
The not guilty pleas were entered by their attorneys.
An additional hearing was scheduled for Friday for one of the defendants, Councilman George Mirabal, so his lawyer could discuss pretrial motions. A scheduling conflict kept Mirabal’s chief attorney from appearing in court with him Thursday.
Only two of the defendants, Mirabal and former Councilman Victor Bello, are still in custody.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The city of Maywood will lay off all city employees and begin contracting police services with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department effective July 1, officials said.
In addition to contracting with the Sheriff’s Department, the Maywood City Council voted unanimously Monday night to lay off an estimated 100 employees and contract with neighboring Bell, which will handle other city services such as finance, records management, parks and recreation, street maintenance and others. Maywood will be billed about $50,833 monthly, which officials said will save $164,375 annually.
“We will become 100% a contracted city,” said Angela Spaccia, Maywood’s interim city manager.
Deputies from the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station will begin patrolling the 1.2-square-mile city by the end of the month, said Capt. Bruce Fogarty of the Sheriff’s Contract Law Enforcement Bureau. The annual cost of providing those services for the small city is estimated at $3.6 million, Fogarty said.