BELL (AP) — Eight current and former Bell city officials were arrested Tuesday as part of a corruption probe in the small, working-class city of Bell, where residents were outraged after learning officials were paying themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries.

Bell law maker Hector De La Torre talks with KNX 1070’s Linda Nunez and Bob Brill.

The suspects were booked Tuesday into county facilities and will be kept away from other inmates for their protection, Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

He would not release the names of those arrested, though the district attorney’s office scheduled a news conference to discuss details.

The arrests were the latest twist in a scandal that emerged in July with the disclosure that City Manager Robert Rizzo was paid nearly $800,000 a year — almost twice the salary of President Barack Obama.

Since then, authorities have been investigating allegations of corruption, misuse of funds, racial profiling and voter fraud in the city where one in six of the 40,000 residents live in poverty.

It also was revealed that former Police Chief Randy Adams was making $457,000 a year, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia was paid $376,288. Four of the five City Council members paid themselves nearly $100,000 a year for their part-time service.

Rizzo, Adams and Spaccia resigned and the council members reduced their salaries to about $8,000 following the disclosures and angry public reaction. The four council members are currently the target of a recall.

The city is under investigation by the district attorney’s office, state attorney general and the U.S. Justice Department. Its finances are being audited by state Controller John Chiang’s office.

Last week, Attorney General Jerry Brown sued eight current and former officials of Bell, accusing them of defrauding taxpayers by granting themselves salaries he said were far higher than warranted for the jobs they were doing.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (21)
  1. Peter C says:

    Well it’s about friggin’ time!

  2. ginny says:

    It’s about time. The saddest part is that there appears to be one Councilman who is straight up and received a much lower salary then the criminals there and so I hope they don’t charge him. He tried to do something about this before it was reported and was ignored by officials.

  3. beachnic says:

    Sorry guys, this show is all about easing public pain and window dressing for the elections. These perps will walk (free). No one will be convicted of doing their job, albeit badly.

  4. Vickie says:

    This makes me sick how people can get away with taking advantage of the city and people I wonder how other cities are being taken advantage of maybe they also should be investigated…..

  5. viri123 says:

    ys hopefully theyll learn that stealing from the poor is wrong

  6. True Lies says:

    It’s about time! Now if they could start with the LA mayor and ENTIRE City council! Corrupt and sleazy to the core, and ALL liberal democrats- for DECADES!

  7. g says:

    My God, and u want us to trust authority?

  8. Rabbi Pedro Goldstein says:

    It’s interesting who Cooley DIDN’T arrest. His good friend Randy “The Million Dollar Chief” Adams. Cooley knew about the Bell scandal over a year ago and did NOTHING because it involved his close friend Adams and now Cooley is pretending he is fighting crime in Bell. Why wasn’t Adams arrested too?

  9. kb says:

    This is a good day for the residents of Bell!

  10. mike says:

    they should open a agency that investigates all the cities in the united states and crackdown on illegal activities by the employees.

  11. Clownbaby says:

    Let’s not forget, they have money, so they will get the best lawyers to help them weaseal out of this with fines and probation.
    They won’t do any hard time.

  12. john says:

    Are these the guys? By just the way the look, they crook, greedy crocodiles. They should all go to jail.

  13. MadMadi says:

    Good! Every single citizen of Bell should step up a a victim to thier crimes and sue them in civil court as well! Crooks!

  14. Howard Smith says:

    investigate all cities and all towns NOW, NOW to resolve all frauds out there ASAP, again, ASAP as we need to recover BILLION dollars to resolve our state budget problems. Hurry up!!!!!

  15. Zolanda says:

    Outside Independence Hall when
    the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended,
    Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
    “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
    With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
    “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    Modern Translation – watch your politicians

  16. Buck says:

    Finally. Too bad it’s only eye candy

  17. wayne says:

    Somebody should try googling “george ccole/pedro carrillo” and see what pops up.

  18. yaroun says:

    Make tacos on your korner market OScar Hernandez

  19. DScott says:

    All eight arrested are Democrats! Party is, of course, hidden from the public. Corruption reporting corruption. Media is not telling the whole story (political cover-up, agenda driven writers.)

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