Fresh jury adjourns in Calif. corruption case

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm •  Published: March 1, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury with a new member wrapped up its first full day of new deliberations Friday in the public corruption trial of six former officials in the suburban city of Bell.

A weeping juror was dismissed Thursday after acknowledging she looked up information online during deliberations and had her daughter search out a definition of what would constitute coercion by other jurors.

An alternate juror was placed on the panel, and Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy ordered that the case must be decided as if the previous deliberations had never occurred. After less than a day and a half of new deliberations, the jury will return Monday.

The dismissal of the juror, an elderly woman, came just days after she asked to be bumped from the panel because other jurors were harassing her.

Bell's former mayor and five former City Council members are on trial on charges of inflating to nearly $100,000 part-time salaries that should have been closer to $8,000 a year. Prosecutors said the officials boosted their pay by serving on boards that hardly ever met and nearly bankrupted the Los Angeles suburb of 40,000 where one in six residents lives in poverty.

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