Judge Dismisses Defense Motion in Bell Case

Ashley Gordon (NBC) | December 1, 2011

A defense motion to dismiss charges against six former Bell city leaders was rejected by a judge Thursday during a court hearing.

Ex-city council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bello and two other city officials were charged last September with fraud and the misappropriation of roughly $5.5 million in public funds.

Through a motion, their attorneys sought to dismiss the charges based on a 2005 ballot measure that the defense said charter cities from state laws restricting council member salaries.

However, the court stated during its August decision that prosecutors in public corruption cases must prove defendants knew they were breaking the law, or were criminally negligent in not knowing.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy wrote in her ruling there was “ample probable cause” to believe the former Bell officials knew they were aware they broke the law.

Read more at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Judge-Dismisses-Defense-Motion-City-Bell-Fraud-Corruption-134871023.html

Photo credit: Associated Press

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