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Hostile Crowd Greets Returning Bell Mayor, Vice Mayor

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Eight current and former Bell city officials were arrested Tuesday. (credit: CBS)

Eight current and former Bell city officials were arrested Tuesday. (credit: CBS)

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BELL (CBS) — Police had to clear the first Bell City Council meeting attended by Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo since they were arrested in the city’s salary scandal.

The meeting began with Hernandez being escorted by police because he has received death threats and fears for his family’s safety.

Last month’s meeting was canceled after Councilman Luis Artiga resigned, another failed to make bail and two more called in sick.

The packed meeting was filled with hostile citizens, some of whom used the public comments portion of the meeting to ask questions about their time in jail.

“Did you enjoy the food?” Bell resident Coco Ceja asked Jacobo. “You look really good in orange.”

The council took a break and left the chambers, prompting the city attorney to lead some of the crowd to a private area, where he expressed sympathy for their anger.

“I don’t understand why they need to be here and continue with this,” Rachel Villanueva said. “I think there should’nt even be a resign or recall. They should just be fired.”

When the council returned to chambers, they voted to set a recall election March 8 for three of the four remaining council members.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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