Hotline established to report voter fraud in Bell City, California

08:18, August 10, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The California attorney general 's office established a special hotline on Monday for residents of Bell City to report allegations of voter fraud in the city involved in a salary scandal.

"My office has received several reports from residents of Bell indicating that city officials encouraged them to fill out absentee ballots and then collected the ballots," Attorney General Gerry Brown said. "We have seen similar reports in the Los Angeles Times. If these allegations are true, this could be a serious violation of state law."

Brown said his office also subpoenaed personal financial records of current and former Bell city officials as part of a widening probe into lofty salaries being paid to select city administrators and elected officials.

The subpoenas asked Bell City officials to turn over records related to pay and pension benefits, federal and state income tax returns, gifts, bank accounts and other outside business interests.

Brown said he hopes to have investigators depose current and former Bell officials next week.

Located in suburban Los Angeles, the city of about 40,000 residents came to national attention after the Los Angeles Times reported last month City Manager Robert Rizzo was being paid 787, 637 dollars annually, Police Chief Randy Adams 457,000 and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia 376,000.

Additionally, the mayor and three of the other four council members were being paid around 100,000 for their part-time jobs.

The highest-paid officials have since resigned, and the mayor and council members have agreed to reduce their salaries by 90 percent, but so far have refused to step down.

Bell officials revealed on Friday that at least seven other city officials had six-digit salary and benefit packages, and that Rizzo's salary and benefits totaled about 1.5 million dollars a year.

In addition to the Attorney General's Office investigation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is also conducting an investigation, and Bell's new city attorney is also looking into the legality of compensation packages for all employees as well as the departed administrators.

Bell's interim city attorney Jamie Casso said Saturday that Rizzo's compensation package raised serious questions and that the city planned to investigate who approved the perks and whether they were legal.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Staff members watch a screen showing the blast-off of the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
Hot Forum Discussion