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Juror Removed From Bell Corruption Case

The jury is deadlocked over charges against six former officials.

A juror was dismissed from the Bell City Council trial Thrusday after it was revealed she researched the case online, KPCC reported.

An alternate will be selected by the judge so the deliberation process can continue. The juror, who left the courtroom in tears, admitted she looked up information online and had her daughter research legal terms for her. Jury deliberations were in their fifth day. 

Jurors alerted the judge Thursday morning that they were unable to reach a verdict in the case of six former Bell City Council officials, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal are accused of felony misappropriation of public funds. The defendants are accused of stealing public money in order to pay themselves salaries approaching $100,000 in one of Los Angeles' poorest communities.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Edward Miller said the council member were the "one percenters" who had "forgotten who they are and where they live."

The three defendants who took the stand during the four-week trial testified that it was former city administrator Robert Rizzo who set the high salaries and loaned out city money.

Rizzo and ex-assistant city manager Angela Spaccia are awaiting trial. 

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