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California’s Bell City Officials Arrested, L.A. Times Reports

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- At least eight officials of Bell, California, were arrested including Robert Rizzo, the former city manager who was paid almost $800,000 a year, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the situation.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley plans to announce criminal charges related to the salaries paid by the municipality, the Times said. Among those arrested were former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, council members Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal; and former members George Cole and Victor Bello, the paper said.

The charges are expected to be detailed at a press conference this morning, the Times said, citing a person “with knowledge of the case who was not authorized to comment publicly.”

The Times reported in July that Rizzo earned an annual salary of almost $800,000 and that part-time Council members took home almost $100,000 a year, mostly by serving on municipal boards and commissions. Rizzo and two other top officials have since resigned.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown sued Rizzo and seven other officials on Sept. 15, accusing them of wasting public funds, negligence, fraud, conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty.

To contact the reporter on this story: Esme E. Deprez in New York at edeprez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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