Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[Video] Bell, CA Officials Charged with Corruption

One of my pet peeve topics... remember these guys? [Jul 23, 2010: California City Seeks Dismissal of Highly Paid Officials]   It is amazing what happens when you have true transparency in government - it might not be pretty but at least the citizenry sees the reality of the milking of the system.

That said, it appears the egregious salary and benefit payouts were not enough for these folks... some were even taking "loans" from the city.  The kicker here is these people are still at their jobs collecting the salaries (forget about touching their pensions!) and much like it takes a crime against humanity to fire anyone in a teachers union once tenured, the same rules apply in public office.  Unless they are recalled, resign on their own free will (insert laugh here), or are convicted - it's business as usual...even if some of that business must be done in a jail cell.

2 minute video - email readers will need to come to site to view

  • 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."
  • In Bell, where one in six residents lives in poverty, people began honking their horns at the news of the arrests. At City Hall, dozens gathered to laugh and applaud as someone played the Queen song "Another One Bites the Dust."


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