November 20, 2013

Pier’ Angela Spaccia (AKA: Angela Sheffield)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:22 am

SpacciaBookingPhotoThis is the photo taken of Pier’ Angela Spaccia by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department when she was booked into the Los Angeles County jail in 2010.  Spaccia is currently on trial in California Superior Court, charged with a total of 13 counts including conflict of interest, misappropriation of public funds, secretation of public records, receiving unauthorized compensation and conspiracy.

As Los Angeles Times reporters Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives have reported,  Spaccia has a fairly recent connection to both Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls.  She was known as Angela Sheffield when she was Kootenai County’s Finance Director.

In her second comment appended to yesterday’s OpenCdA post titled Bell Corruption:  Tightening the Coeur d’Alene Connection, Stebbijo remarked, “… however, there isn’t much, connecting her to this area other than a sealed case out of Post Falls, Idaho.”

Here is what we’ve been able to find from a cursory inspection of public records. (more…)

September 10, 2016

Exceptional Police Work

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:13 pm

irvine-pd-patchAt a time when citizens throughout the United States are being propagandized by various media including the skews media to ridicule and deride law enforcement officers, it was not only refreshing but also inspiring to see the Los Angeles Times newspaper run its six-part series entitled ‘FRAMED – She was the PTA mom everybody knew.  Who would want to harm her?

The series highlights the exceptional and insightful work of the Irvine, California, Police Department.  It is worth noting that the Irvine officer who was first assigned the call was an experienced police officer, not a rookie.  The article rightly raises the question:  Would the outcome of this case have been different if a less experienced and less patient patrol officer had been the first to respond?

The series was written by LA Times staff writer Christopher Goffard.  Goffard’s bio states, “He shared in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s Bell coverage …”  Attentive readers may recall the Kootenai County connection to the Bell scandal which the LA Times reported and for which it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The entire six-part series can easily be read in half an hour.  It’s worth the time.

January 10, 2015

“They Just Didn’t Do It”

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:37 pm

casewatchOpenCdA applauds Athol’s newly-installed Mayor Darla Kuhman for her candor in trying to right the city’s finances after former City Clerk Sally Hansen was charged in federal court with stealing approximately $400,000 from the city during her five years of employment. Hansen was also faces 15 counts of wire fraud.

Unfortunately for Mayor Kuhman and the citizens of Athol, the Idaho County Risk Management Program (ICRMP) has informed the City that ICRMP intends to deny the City’s insurance claim to recover much of the loss, because the City had failed to conduct the statutorily-required audits during at least part of the loss period.  That law clearly states, “It shall be the duty of the council in every city to cause to be made a full and complete audit of the financial statements of such city as required in section 67-450B, Idaho Code.”  But as Mayor Kuhman was quoted saying in this morning’s Press article, referring to the required audits, “They just didn’t do it.”

December 10, 2014

Special Prosecutor – The Time Has Come

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:16 am

Foster parents arrestedCOE-3-RMargin copyOpenCdA believes that it is time for a special prosecuting attorney from far beyond Kootenai County to investigate the administration and management of Coeur d’Alene Airport (COE).  But we also believe that any prosecutor should have the courage and horsepower to go where the evidence leads him (or her), even if it goes beyond the borders of the airport to the County Administration Building or the Public Safety Building.

As we have reported in several preceding OpenCdA posts, the firing of longtime airport manager Greg Delavan prompted an outpouring of support for him from local aircraft owners and operators as well as from local businesses who see COE as playing an important role in the region’s economy.  His loyal supporters were often equally outspoken in opposition to the two Kootenai County Commissioners (Green and Tondee) who decided in an illegal meeting to fire him.

Constrained by several factors, Commissioners Green and Tondee were unable to publicly disclose exactly what led to Delavan’s firing.   Unfortunately, they didn’t help clarify the issue when they admitted making the decision to fire him in an executive session board meeting, a flagrant violation of Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.  As a result, the interested public was left with the impression that there may have been no valid reason for Delavan’s firing.

And then this article headlined Audit reveals bad billing appeared in the local skewspaper, the Coeur d’Alene Press on November 14, 2014.   The article suggested there may have been valid reasons for firing Delavan.  Online comments appended to some of the skewspaper’s articles reporting Delavan’s firing reinforced that suggestion. (more…)

April 16, 2014

Boss Hog to the Pen …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 10:59 am

rizzoAccording to Angela Spaccia, Robert Rizzo’s cohort in the Bell corruption scandal, Rizzo had a saying:

“Pigs get Fat … Hogs get slaughtered!!! So long as we’re not Hogs … all is well!!”

Today, California Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told Hog Rizzo that all was not well.  She sentenced him to serve 12 years in state prison for his part in the Bell corruption scandal.  He will be allowed to serve the state’s sentence concurrently with his 33-month federal sentence on tax-related charges.

The details of today’s sentencing are in LA Times reporter Jeff Gottlieb’s online story headlined Rizzo gets 12 years in prison, marking end to scandal that rocked Bell.

While Rizzo’s sentencing on federal and state charges and Angela Spaccia’s sentencing on state charges do appear to end the state action, there remains the possibility of federal charges against Angela Spaccia.  As OpenCdA has noted in several earlier posts, Angela (Sheffield) Spaccia served as Kootenai County, Idaho’s Finance Director prior to going to Bell.

April 11, 2014

Memorable Comments From the Judge and the Con Artist

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:12 am


Yesterday’s OpenCdA post titled Prison for Former Kootenai County Finance Director linked to the preliminary story from the LA Times reporting that former Kootenai County finance director Angela (Sheffield) Spaccia had been sentenced to 11 years, 8 months in California state prison for her role in the Bell, California, corruption scandal.

Today’s Los Angeles Times story headlined Former Bell second-in-command gets 11 years in prison for corruption elaborates on yesterday’s story.  In today’s story there are some telling comments from both Spaccia (Sheffield) and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy.  Some of Spaccia (Sheffield)’s comments have been reported before by the Times, but of course Judge Kennedy could not comment until after the trial was over and the sentence had been imposed.

OpenCdA hopes readers will read today’s LA Times article and pay close attention to the comments from both Judge Kathleen Kennedy and the convicted con artist, Angela (Sheffield) Spaccia.  They reveal the mindset of not only the con artist Spaccia and her fellow con artist City Administrator Robert Rizzo, but also the Judge’s now much clearer understanding of the complicity of Bell’s then-mayor and all but one member of Bell’s city council.

Midway through today’s article, Times reporters

We can’t help but wonder if Spaccia (Sheffield)  at that moment might have  been wishing  she had stayed in Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County, Idaho. (more…)

April 10, 2014

Prison for Former Kootenai County Finance Director

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 12:07 pm

SpacciaBookingPhotoFormer Kootenai County, Idaho, Finance Director Angela (Sheffield) Spaccia was sentenced today to 11 years, 8 months in prison according to the Los Angeles Times.

Spaccia, known as Angela Sheffield when she was Kootenai County’s Finance Director, was convicted on a variety of charges relating to public corruption in the Bell, California, corruption scandal.

Spaccia’s conviction was on state charges in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Her conviction and sentencing does not preclude additional federal charges being brought against her.

Spaccia’s boss, former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Bell’s former mayor and five city council members have agreed to plead guilty to various charges involving misappropriation of public funds.   Each of them could receive up to four years in prison.

March 13, 2014

Bell About to Ring – Twice

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:14 am

bell-cityhallFormer Kootenai County, Idaho,  Finance Director Angela Spaccia is scheduled to be sentenced on March 21 in Los Angeles County Superior Court for her corruption-related convictions resulting from her term as the Bell, California, assistant city administrator.   The Spaccia (then Sheffield) connection to Kootenai County was outlined in several OpenCdA posts.

As often happens when criminal conspirators are to be sentenced separately, they turn on each other to try and get reduced sentences.  Spaccia’s boss in Bell, former city administrator Robert Rizzo, had already pleaded no contest to 69 felony corruption charges last year rather than stand trial.

Rizzo had been scheduled to be sentenced before Spaccia, however he is likely to be subpoenaed to testify at Spaccia’s sentencing hearing.  The Court postponed Rizzo’s sentencing until April 16.  Obviously Rizzo’s attorney hopes that his testimony against his former assistant Spaccia will lighten his sentence.  Spaccia’s attorney probably hopes to reduce her sentence by shifting some of the blame back to Rizzo.

It is reasonably certain that both Rizzo and Spaccia will wind up in state or federal prison.  It seems likely that Spaccia will face federal tax charges as well.

OpenCdA will continue to follow the trials and travails of former Kootenai County Finance Director Angela Spaccia.  Who knows?  At some point she might even start cooperating with the feds to get a reduced federal sentence.  If she does, we wonder what she might say about the time she was Kootenai County’s Finance Director.


December 15, 2013

Bell’s Rizzo Agrees to Plead Guilty on Federal Charges

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:01 am

rizzoIn a December 12 press release, André Birotte Jr., the US Attorney for the Central District of California, announced that former Bell, California, Chief Administrative Officer Robert A. Rizzo has agreed to plead guilty to two felony charges: conspiracy and filing a false federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. In the plea agreement, Rizzo admitted that he created a corporation to fraudulently claim losses on his income tax return, which served to illegally reduce his tax liability on the significant income he was receiving from the City of Bell.

According to the press release, Rizzo and co-conspirators (including his tax preparer Robert J. Melcher) formed an S Corporation to claim bogus losses in relation to a purported rental property in Auburn, Washington. He also used an S-Corp account to pay for more than $80,000 in personal expenses in 2009 and $120,000 in construction work on his residence in Huntington Beach in 2010, then falsely claim that these expenses were related to rental property.

As the last sentence in the press release states, the federal investigation is not over.  According to reporter Jeff Gottlieb’s article in the Los Angeles Times, Rizzo’s charging documents refer to “A.S.” and her company, Sheffield Management Corp.  That is almost certainly a reference to Angela Spaccia, whose married name was “Sheffield” when she was in Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County, Idaho, working for the YWCA and serving for two years as Kootenai County’s Finance Director.   OpenCdA hopes the federal investigation will reveal who the tax preparer, accountant, or attorney was who helped Angela set up Sheffield Management Corp.

December 14, 2013

Bell: Where Did the Money Come From?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 9:10 am

bell-cityhallOur previous OpenCdA posts about the corruption in Bell, California, have contained links explaining how Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo, Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia (Sheffield), former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and onetime City Council members Teresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole and Victor Bello were convicted of misappropriating public funds.  They were the direct recipients of the misappropriated public money.

As noted in the various California State Controller’s Office audits, some recipients of questionable City contracts were likely the indirect recipients.

That raises two fairly big questions:  Where did all the revenue come from that allowed the crooks to enrich themselves?  How could Bell’s Mayor and City Council have stood by while the City’s treasury was being looted? (more…)

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