Former mayor of blue-collar Bell, California, sentenced in public corruption case



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LOS ANGELES — A former mayor of the scandal-ridden city of Bell has been sentenced to serve a year in Los Angeles County jail and five years of probation.

Oscar Hernandez was ordered Thursday to pay $241,000 in restitution to the city that was driven close to bankruptcy by a scheme to vastly inflate official salaries.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy also ordered Hernandez to perform 1,000 hours of community service, but she suspended a four-year prison term.

Kennedy said the former official never should have even run for office since he couldn't read English and wound up rubber-stamping documents for a corrupt city manager.

Hernandez is the latest in a series of former officials of the small, blue-collar city to be sentenced for corruption-related offenses involving misappropriation of funds.

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