Former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez Gets One Year in Jail

Former Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez has officially become the fourth former Bell council member to be sentenced for his role in the 2010 salary scandal that revealed the staggering amount of corruption in the city. He is also the second to receive jail time as part of his punishment. Former Bell Council Member Teresa Jacobo was also recently sentenced to two years of jail time for her involvement in misappropriating public funds.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy sentenced Hernandez to serve one year in jail, five years’ probation, 1,000 hours of community service, as well as $241,000 in restitution.

The four council members’ sentences have ranged from what might be considered “light,” to tough punishments. As mentioned before, Jacobo was sentenced to two years in prison, while Former Council Member George Cole was given home confinement.

Hernadez’s defense lawyer told the courtroom that the former council member was embarrassed and “disappointed in himself" due to his actions during his time on the Bell council. His lawyer also explained that Hernandez struggled with the English language and had little formal education, though Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett was less understanding, saying that Hernandez was corrupt and accepted a huge paycheck even as city workers were losing their jobs.

Read more about Hernandez’s sentence here.