LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County district attorney's office plans to retry the case against Bell council members accused of misappropriating public funds by overpaying themselves for sitting on city boards and authorities that rarely met, according to defense attorneys connected with the case.
In March, a jury delivered a mixed verdict for Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal, finding them guilty on multiple felony counts and acquitting them on other charges. Luis Artiga, a pastor, was the only defendant to win full acquittal.
The verdicts were announced after 17 days behind closed doors, but jurors were asked to return for an additional day to deliberate on remaining counts that some believed could be decided after more direction from the court.
That day, however, came to a chaotic end with Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy declaring a mistrial on the outstanding counts after one juror asked to reconsider the guilty verdicts already reached and another passed a note urging the judge to "remind the jury to remain respectful and not to make false accusations and insults to one another."
Kennedy drew the case to a close March 21, saying, "all hell has broken loose."