Angela Spaccia’s defense in the Bell corruption trial is simple: She agrees she made too much money, but that’s not a crime.
Spaccia’s trial on charges that she worked with her boss, Robert Rizzo, to engineer huge salaries for Bell’s leaders provided vivid evidence of graft in the small, working-class city. But it will be up to the jury to decide whether Spaccia was an active player in the effort to misappropriate public money or simply someone who benefited from it. The jury began deliberations Friday
For Spaccia to be found not guilty on the 13 counts of misappropriation of funds, conspiracy, conflict of interest and other charges, she and her attorney will have had to convince jurors that she had no idea the lawbreaking was taking place. Spaccia worked as Rizzo’s deputy for seven years and received a salary that topped out at $564,000 a year, unheard-of compensation for someone in her position.
She testified that none of the attorneys working for the city told her anything was wrong and that at times they even told her Rizzo had the authority to do things that were later deemed illegal.
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