Investigation launched into salary scandal in Californian city

17:12, July 23, 2010      

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The Californian Attorney General's Office launched an investigation Thursday into high salaries paid to Bell City's top officials, and extend it to local officials state-wide.

The move came amid mounting criticism of Bell City officials who earn exorbitant salaries despite the tough financial times.

Bell City is a small city in Los Angeles County with only 37,000 residents and is one of the poorest cities in the United States.

However, City Manager Robert Rizzo earns 787,637 dollars a year, which is twice as much as U.S. President Barack Obama. Police Chief Randy Adams earns 457,000 annually, 50 percent more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck; and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia earns 376,288, much more than most city managers in the county and the nation.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said he was "shocked" when he heard about the salaries being earned by Bell City officials. "We're going to get to the bottom of how did these outrageous salaries get adopted," he said.

Brown said he wanted to determine "what does this do to the pension system and how can we put a cap on these kinds of salaries."

He also said the probe would go beyond Bell, and try to determine if other cities or counties are paying exorbitant salaries.

"Bell just popped up," he said. "There may be other cities that are out of control."


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(Editor:张茜)

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