March 20th, 2013
04:24 PM ET

California mayor, council members convicted of corruption charges

Former Bell, California, Mayor Oscar Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday on five felony charges for the misappropriation of funds, with more such verdicts possible as the jury continues to weigh several counts in the case.

Hernandez and several former city council members in Bell, a city of 36,000 people about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, had been on trial since January after prosecutors accused them of widespread corruption.

In addition to convicting him on five charges, the jury on Wednesday found Hernandez not guilty of five other charges.

There were similarly split verdicts for former Bell city council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole Jr. and Victor Bello. The only ex-council member found not guilty on all counts announced Wednesday was Luis Antonio Artiga.

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Filed under: California • Crime
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. oscar

    Well looks like U.S.A has turned into another Mexico.

    March 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Sounds like a replay of Detroit!

    March 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |

    It is completely disgraceful that they allowed the chief of police to weasel free. The "chief" of police was making 200k+ in a town where the median average income hovers in the 30s. The "chief" ratted on all of his fellow traitors and felons to obtain his freedom. "chief" was the towns top "law" enforcement officer and as such his conduct in looting the people he claims to serve was substantially more egregious then that of the others, he of all people should have known better. "chief"'s conduct provides tangible proof of how the legal system and legal professionals have eroded core american values. It doesnt matter which criminal activity you participate in as long as you are willing to sell someone else out when the time comes all will be forgiven and you will be allowed to keep most of your ill gotten gains. I do not understand why these people are not being prosecuted for treason, the lot of them ARE TRAITORS AND FELONS making feloniously disproportionate salaries and pensions at the expense of everyone else's money, rights, and safety. It is entirely likely that "chief" is in NRA and helps keep gun laws lax and dangerous firearms on the street to help maintain a public in fear. The felons involved in this disgraceful conduct allowed their greed to entirely bankrupt their community forcing their neighbors to pay unacceptably high taxes to support the grandiose lifestyles of AFSCME future retired millionaires within the town. This conduct undermines the very roots of our society, these people bankrupted the community they claimed to serve, surely such conduct from public employees goes beyond the merely criminal and becomes treason. I urge the adoption of the SAGE ESCUDERO anti corruption measures which set reasonable and fair salary and pension caps for all public employees at a max benefit of 70K and establishes a criminal felony threshold for felonious salary/pension disparity or disproportion at three times the median average income of the community that agency services. Cities all over America are being driven bankrupt by the greed of our public employees and they have to be forced to give back their ill gotten gains or face criminal prosecution.

    March 21, 2013 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |

      I stand corrected good ole "chief" was making 457K

      March 21, 2013 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    457 THOUSAND DOLLARS??? Whoa! Someone should cap him!

    March 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |