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Bell Ordered To Repay Nearly $500K To State Over Misspent Grant Money

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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The troubled city of Bell owes a state agency nearly $500,000 because of problems with the way it spent grant money.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has ordered Bell to repay $481,176 by the end of the month. The Los Angeles Times says an audit found that the City Council hadn’t approved some contracts or failed to award them through competitive bidding. Some conflicts of interest were also found.

The grants, which were awarded in 2003 and 2004, totaled $4.781 million.

It’s the latest bad news for Bell, which is facing a budget deficit of more than $4 million. Eight former city officials are charged with corruption for allegedly looting the city by taking exorbitant salaries, loans and perks.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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