A time­line of key de­vel­op­ments

Piv­otal mo­ments, in­clud­ing Rizzo’s hir­ing and the city elec­tion that led to huge raises.

Los Angeles Times - - Front Page -

Au­gust 1993

Bell hires Robert Rizzo as city ad­min­is­tra­tor at a salary of $72,000. “He’s prob­a­bly the low­est-paid city man­ager in the area, prob­a­bly in the county,” says then-Coun­cil­man Ge­orge Cole.

Novem­ber 2005

Bell be­comes a char­ter city, clear­ing the way for coun­cil mem­bers to ex­empt them­selves from state salary lim­its. Fewer than 400 peo­ple vote in the elec­tion.

March 2009

Coun­cil mem­bers Luis Ar­tiga and Teresa Ja­cobo are re­elected, beat­ing re­form can­di­dates. A few months later, Coun­cil­man Vic­tor Bello re­signs and Lorenzo Velez is ap­pointed to re­place him, join­ing Os­car Her­nan­dez and Ge­orge Mira­bal on the coun­cil.

June 2010

Af­ter los­ing its in­surance, May­wood de­cides to lay off nearly all its city em­ploy­ees, dis­band its Po­lice Depart­ment and turn op­er­a­tions over to Bell. “We want to help our neigh­bor,” says Bell Mayor Her­nan­dez.

July 15, 2010

The Times re­ports that Rizzo is paid $787,637, Po­lice Chief Randy Adams $457,000 and As­sis­tant City Man­ager An­gela Spac­cia $376,288.

July 23, 2010

Rizzo, Spac­cia and Adams re­sign. Rizzo stands to be­come the high­est-paid re­tiree in the state pen­sion sys­tem, en­ti­tled to $600,000 a year for the rest of his life.

July 26, 2010

Coun­cil mem­bers agree to cut their near-$100,000 salaries to match that of Velez, who makes $673 a month.

Aug. 8, 2010

The Times re­ports that Rizzo re­ceived a lu­cra­tive ben­e­fits pack­age, in­clud­ing 28 weeks for vacation or sick leave, mak­ing his to­tal com­pen­sa­tion more than $1.5 mil­lion.

Aug. 18, 2010

The Times re­ports that the city of Bell gave nearly $900,000 in loans to Rizzo, Spac­cia, Her­nan­dez and Ar­tiga over the last sev­eral years.

Aug. 24, 2010

Pe­ti­tions to re­call coun­cil mem­bers Ar­tiga, Her­nan­dez, Ja­cobo and Mira­bal are sub­mit­ted to the city clerk.

Sept. 9, 2010

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice launches an in­quiry into pos­si­ble civil rights vi­o­la­tions in Bell.

Sept. 15, 2010

State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown files a suit ac­cus­ing eight city of­fi­cials of con­ceal­ing their lu­cra­tive com­pen­sa­tion and plot­ting to en­rich them­selves.

Sept. 16, 2010

State Con­troller John Chi­ang es­ti­mates that Bell wrongly col­lected more than $5.6 mil­lion in lo­cal taxes.

Sept. 21, 2010

Eight Bell of­fi­cials are ar­rested on felony charges. All are jailed. Rizzo’s bail is set at $3.2 mil­lion. Source: Times staff writer Co­rina Knoll

Randy Adams

Lorenzo Velez

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