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Archive for Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ex-California city manager among 8 arrested in Los Angeles

September 22, 2010

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— The mayor and former city manager of Bell were led away in handcuffs Tuesday, charged with six other officials with taking more than $5.5 million from the working-class suburb in a scandal that triggered nationwide outrage and calls for more transparency in government.

Former City Manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez and the other current and former city officials were rounded up during morning raids on their homes that prompted many of their neighbors to burst into cheers.

They were charged with dozens of counts of illegally paying themselves huge salaries in what District Attorney Steve Cooley called a case of “corruption on steroids.”

“They used the tax dollars collected from the hardworking citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they then looted at will,” Cooley told a news conference as he stood next to photos of the eight suspects.

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