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Bell Fraud Hearing Nearing Conclusion

Feb. 23: Bell City executives (from r.) Administrator Robert Rizzo; former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia; Luis Artiga and Oscar Hernandez listen during a preliminary hearing for the four, who are charged with misappropriation of public funds in Los Angeles.

Feb. 23: Bell City executives (from r.) Administrator Robert Rizzo; former Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia; Luis Artiga and Oscar Hernandez listen during a preliminary hearing for the four, who are charged with misappropriation of public funds in Los Angeles.  (AP)

LOS ANGELES -- Attorneys are set to begin making their closing arguments at a preliminary hearing to determine whether the ousted former city manager of Bell should stand trial on dozens of charges of bilking the blue-collar suburb out of more than $5.5 million.

Former City Manager Robert Rizzo is charged with more than 50 counts of fraud. Also facing charges are Bell's former assistant city manager, the mayor and a former councilman.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are to make their final arguments Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall.

The preliminary hearing in Hall's court, which lasted three weeks, is concluding just a day after residents of Bell went to the polls to elect a new city council.