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News

High Salaries Came via Legal Loophole, but Highly Paid Bell Officials will Still Resign

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The three highly paid city of Bell officials have all agreed to resign, following an LA Times investigation that revealed extremely high salaries that prompted community anger and government investigations. City Manager Robert Rizzo, who is paid nearly $800,000, and Police Chief Randy Adams, paid $457,000, will resign at the end of August. Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia, who is paid $376,288, will leave at the end of September.

All three will not receive severance packages, but could receive high pensions. Rizzo could see $600,000 a year and Adams, $411,000.

The announcement came late Thursday night after a long emergency city council meeting. No action against the high salaries for City Councilmembers were taken. Most of them earn around $100,000 a year when in other cities of Bell's size, elected officials only earn several thousand. For being a councilmember, they actually only receive $150 a month. The high salaries are received for sitting on various boards and commissions, but the LA Times finds that very little is done by those boards. In fact, the rare meetings sometimes only last one minute.

Bell was able to skirt state law set in 2005 in reaction to high salaries in nearby South Gate by placing a little-known ballot measure at a special election. Only 400 people came out to vote and the measure, which proposed changing the city from a general city to a charter city did not explicitly outline how salaries could be increased. City of Bell attorneys says the city is following the law.