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  • Outside the Beltway: A Taxpayer Victory in Bell, CA

    Last month, we highlighted wasteful spending in Bell, Calif., that resulted in paying the City Manager nearly $800,000 a year. There is a silver lining for Bell residents. This gross misuse of public funds prompted an investigation by prosecutors and what they found was amazing. They found that not only was the City Manager, Robert Rizzo, grossly overpaid, but the city council failed to oversee his actions, which resulted in Rizzo making unauthorized city loans to himself.

    Prosecutor Steve Cooley was justifiably outraged by these findings saying:

    They used the tax dollars collected from the hardworking citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they then looted at will

    He also added that it is “corruption on steroids.” This is a blatant misuse of public funds, and they should be held accountable.

    Cooley also found that Rizzo had used public funds to repay $95,000 in personal loans. The citizens of Bell are already on the hook for his salary, and because of that, their property taxes are the second highest  in Los Angeles County. While wasteful spending to this degree is the exception, not the rule, there is a growing trend of government workers earning more than private sector employees.  The problem is that government workers are paid with taxpayer dollars.

    The citizens of Bell did not take this lying down. Within a few days of finding out about the astronomical salaries, groups were started to make sure this never happens again. The indictments are a small victory for the taxpayers in Bell, and they were pretty excited about the developments. They learned about wasteful spending the hard way, but hopefully more cities can learn from this.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Outside the Beltway: A Taxpayer Victory in Bell, CA

    1. Kevin H, College Par says:

      Absolutely horrible. Regardless of party affiliation or policy leanings, this kind of corruption cannot be tolerated. These guys were paying themselves twice as much as the Presidend of the US makes in salary.

      As bad as the economic conditions in CA are, and the horrible shortfalls facing the state (and the country) – we have to come down hard on this kind of corruption. They need to spend the rest of their lives in jail. This is the type of action that can break down the entire country.

      $800,000 – i'd guess a big percent of Americans may not make that in their lifetime, and this criminal was paying himself that amount on annual basis – all off the backs of the workers and homeowners of the town.

    2. Patsy Sweeney, Fount says:

      A Rhyme by Patsy Sweeney

      The citizens of the city of Bell

      Are mad as hell

      They didn’t just say “oh well”

      They started to yell

      And yell and yell and yell

      And tell and tell and tell

      Veiled gluttonous hands have dipped into the city well

      By more elected officials whose own souls they greedily sell

      The citizens of Bell railed up against corruption and the crooks pants fell

      Anger from the audacity of such blatant treachery, they could not quell

      The whole country is watching and applauding the citizens of Bell

      I for one taxpaying American citizen am proud as Hell

      Of the citizens of Bell

    3. Billie says:

      "Everyone must go!" could anything be said any clearer of this government corruption and all taking part? This is all over the country!

      In America, people who serve the public, are (or were) held accountable with reprimand strong enough to make them think twice and never again be in that position.

      If elected members are serving the public sincerely for the good of the people, the governors would be making tops, $40,000, everybody under him, less. Then we'll REALLY SEE who wants to serve the people. in a free country, the government should always be the first to sacrifice before the people they serve..

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