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BELL VERDICTS: BASTA Reacts To Jury Decision

By Brian Hews

Members of BASTA react to verdicts in Bell. (BASTA PHOTO)

Members of BASTA react to verdicts in Bell. (BASTA PHOTO)

Community leaders are beginning to weigh in on the convictions today in the corruption case that has gripped the City of Bell for the past three years.

Here is a statement from BASTA, the Bell Association to Stop The Abuse that was released to members of the media on Wednesday afternoon:

“BASTA (Bell Association to Stop the Abuse) is feel relief by the jury’s guilty verdict of the Bell Six. This verdict is long awaited and further vindicates the community’s efforts to move out of the shadow of Rizzo corrupt regime.  The jury’s verdict is a clear step in helping the Bell community to heal.”

“BASTA asks that the judge give the Bell Six stern sentences. Moreover, we remain adamant that the responsibility of the legal expenses of the Bell Six lies with the corrupt councilmembers who need to finally take full responsibility for their wrongdoing.”

“The community has learned its lessons –it has become more informed, involved, and held its elected officials more accountable. The new elected officials in the City of Bell have also done their part –creating a new government that is more responsible and transparent,” said BASTA representative Fidencio Gallardo. “It is reassuring to know that our judicial system is not broken, and that justice can be served.”

“It is BASTA’s position that this case is not about the 40,000 residents in Bell, but about sending a message to everyone watching that our Democratic Government is not broken and that we have a government that functions for everyone irrespective of their zip code. This guilty verdict further sends a message to everyone watching that predatory behavior will be sought out and prosecuted.”

“Until there are convictions of every councilmember and former administrator guilty of criminal actions against the citizens of Bell, Bell residents will not feel that justice has been met. We now look to the trial of Rizzo and Spaccia and hope that the judicial system continues to do its part.”