Defense: Mayor didn't know salary was illegal

By Linda Deutsch

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

After disclosure of the scandal in 2010, Bell residents revolted and turned out in the thousands to protest at City Council meetings. They ultimately staged a successful recall election in 2011, throwing out the entire council and electing a slate of new leaders.

An audit by the state controller's office found that the city had illegally raised property taxes, business license fees and other sources of revenue to pay the salaries. The office ordered the money repaid.

Miller spoke to the jury again during his rebuttal on Thursday. He referred to the defendants as "a gang of crooks."

"Did you have to be a lawyer to be horrified?" he asked jurors. "This is supposed to raise a red flag in front of you as a reasonable person."

Former city manager Robert Rizzo and his assistant city manager, Angela Spaccia, face a trial later this year.

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