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Former Bell mayor sentenced in corruption case

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 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 also 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 suspended a four-year prison term.

Kennedy lectured the former official who she said should never 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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