Los Angeles City Hall politics revealed from an insider's point of view.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cooley Catches City Crooks - Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls ...

It's the talk of the town, if not the nation, "Corruption on steroids" was how LA's DA Steve Cooley described the culture of corruption that had ruled in the City of Bell. With the story well covered, we feature here a slightly different spin on the story published at Los Angeles Dragnet:
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Announces Arrest of Bell City Officials
 While Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley today calmly announced the early morning arrests of those believed to be responsible for theft and misappropriation of $5.5M from the blue collar residents of the City of Bell, his democrat rival for Attorney General, Kamala Harris, used her platform as San Francisco DA to proudly announced that she would be prosecuting two people who illegally sold transfer tickets on San Francisco's mass transit system.“This is not a victimless crime,” Harris said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner.

The 8 Bell City officials include former City Manager Robert Rizzo
 Harris, who holds the current record for having the lowest conviction rate of any major California city (55%) might have been puzzled at the legal theory used by Cooley's Public Integrity Unit to prosecute the 8 who comprise current and former Bell City officials.

For a legal lightweight like Harris, the notion that "misappropriation of public funds" and "conflict of interest" could be crimes must be both challenging and worrying; Harris still has been unable to satisfactorily explain what happened to $3.7M in Federal grant funds that she  received to prosecute 'border crimes' as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under Harris, San Francisco has steadfastly maintained a "Sanctuary City" position regarding illegal immigration, so the concept of prosecuting 'border crimes' would appear to be an anathema to Ms. Harris.

Perhaps Ms. Harris should seriously think about repaying that $3.7M before Cooley becomes Attorney General as an investigation might conclude that Harris "misappropriated" that federal grant money. At least she'll now understand the legal theory.

The Bell City officials arrested this morning were former City Manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, council members Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga and George Mirabal; former council members George Cole and Victor Bello; and former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia. All arrested are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

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