Eight current and former officials in the Southern California city of Bell were arrested in an investigation of high salaries that the leaders of the Los Angeles suburb are accused of paying themselves.
The former city manager of Bell, California, who ran a public corruption scheme that bilked the blue-collar community outside Los Angeles out of millions of dollars, was sentenced today to 12 years in state prison.
Bell , California, the Los Angeles suburb that paid its city manager almost $800,000 a year, illegally raised taxes, mismanaged bond funds and entered into improper contracts and land purchases, according to an audit by state Controller John Chiang .
California sued Robert Rizzo , the ousted city manager of Bell who was paid almost $800,000 a year, and seven current and former officials, seeking the return of “excess salaries” and reductions in pension payouts.
Six former Bell, California, city council members used their part-time jobs to loot public funds while leaving the blue-collar, Latino suburb of Los Angeles in financial distress, a prosecutor said at the start of a criminal trial.
When Bell, California, resident Roger Ramirez heard in 2008 that the manager of his town of 38,000 residents may be the state’s highest-paid municipal employee, he asked City Hall. He got only part of the answer.