We found out long ago that Bell's Big Eight -- the shameless crew of elected officials who smuggled millions from a small town on the southeast edge of L.A. County -- were fat pigs, but it's a new kind of satisfaction to hear it straight from their own scuzzy snouts in a sterile Los Angeles Superior Courtroom.
Well, from the mouths of prosecutors reading from slimy city e-mails, but still. Today's quotes from the trial are some of the best yet, with the possible exception of...
... last week's "Everything had to go through [former City Administrator] Mr. Robert Rizzo" and "If ignorance is a crime, I guess I'm guilty."
Some choice clips from former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia's email log, as recorded today by City News Service:
The filing documents e-mails sent in 2009 by Spaccia to Randy Adams as the city was preparing to hire him as its police chief.
"The word pay period is used and not defined in order to protect you from someone taking the time to add up your salary,'' Spaccia wrote in one e-mail cited in the prosecution's filing.
The prosecutors said Adams wrote in a separate e-mail, "I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell's money?! Okay ... just a share of it,'' and that Spaccia responded, "LOL ... well you can take your share of the pie ... just like us. We will all get fat together.''
"Bob has an expression he likes to use on occasion ... pigs get fat ... hogs get slaughtered!!! So as long as we're not hogs ... all is well,'' the document quotes Spaccia as e-mailing.
In case you've been living under a rock, this "Bob" character was the highest paid City Administrator in the history of the universe -- the hairless, overstuffed rodent otherwise known as Robert Rizzo, a man who made over $1 million last year. He and seven of his colleagues are up for misappropriation of public funds right now.
And... they essentially just called themselves pigs. Not just pigs, but fat ones. By will. Awesome.
Of course, their smug, self-fattening regime was not so awesome for the Bell taxpayers, who unknowingly funneled about $5.5 million into the City Hall feeding tube. It's disgusting -- the Los Angeles Times' proudest break of 2010 was slathered in the hideous visage of Robert Rizzo, instead of the 40,000 human faces suffering beneath his immense selfishness.
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Now, the city is faced with gaping debt and the possible disbandment of its police force. A small yet tough group of community members is fighting back this election season, but Bell and its cohorts on the southeast L.A. County axis of evil (Vernon, Cudahy, Maywood) may be too entrenched in corruption for a comeback.
All the best of luck to them. And in the meantime, at least we can drop the "alleged" before "fat pigs" without sacrificing journalistic integrity.
Hey, they started it.