LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state audit says the ex-city manager of a scandal-plagued Los Angeles suburb illegally handed at least $710,000 in government money to companies without contracts or City Council approval.

The state controller’s office says former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo made deals for services and equipment at will and without going through competitive bidding. The audit released Thursday says he paid some of the state and federal funds to an engineering company owned by the city’s planning director.

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The audit brings the total amount of questionable spending to more than $6 million.

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Rizzo’s attorney tells the Los Angeles Times he doubts the audit’s credibility.

Rizzo is among eight current and former Bell officials charged with misappropriating more than $5.5 million.

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