LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors in the corruption case against six former Bell city officials have been dismissed for the weekend.
The panel deliberated for about six hours Friday after prosecutors told them the officials had exploited the trust of a city to steal its money. Deputy District Attorney Ed Miller said in addition to their inflated council salaries, the officials appointed each other to commissions that did nothing and often met yearly just to increase their pay. Some made $100,000 a year and authorities have estimated that a total of $5.5 million was taken from the city coffers.
Defense lawyers argued that the officials put in more time than was required and were dedicated to helping poor and ailing residents of Bell while improving schools and public facilities.
Deliberations are set to resume Monday.
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