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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
Maywood’s City Council will discuss whether to cancel contracts to manage municipal services that it entered into with neighboring Bell in light of the pay scandal in that California municipality, Councilman Felipe Aguirre said.
Six former officials of Bell, California, will have their fate decided by a jury as a trial comes to an end over allegations they looted public funds from the Latino, blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles.