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Former council member sentenced in Bell scandal

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former Bell city councilman has been sentenced to a year in jail for corruption and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

George Mirabal was sentenced Friday for misappropriating public funds from the Los Angeles suburb. He also must pay the city $242,000.

At the hearing, Mirabal apologized to the city and its residents. Outside court, Mirabel called his sentence fair.

Mirabal is the first of five former council members to be sentenced for nearly bankrupting the small working-class town by receiving inflated pay and perks.

Prosecutors say Mirabal's salary rose from $434 a month when he was city clerk to $100,000 a year on the council, where he served for 17 years.

Robert Rizzo, mastermind of the pay scheme, is serving 12 years in state prison.

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