LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five former city councilors in a small, blue-collar Los Angeles suburb that became a symbol of political greed were convicted Wednesday of stealing taxpayer money by creating a panel that helped boost their part-time pay to nearly $100,000 a year. Read More
It may be an old chestnut, but playwright John Van Druten’s romantic comedy “Bell, Book and Candle,” adapted for a 1958 film starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart, comes to surprisingly luminous life in San Francisco Playhouse’s current staging.
Bored and restless witch Gillian is attracted to a neighbor, Shep, in her Manhattan, N.Y., high-rise. When she discovers he’s engaged to her college nemesis, she can’t resist using her magical powers to seduce him. Read More
WHAT: Robert Rizzo, ousted city administrator of Bell — charged with more than 50 criminal counts for nearly bankrupting that working-class Southern California suburb — now faces a newly revealed accusation of setting up a secret secondary pension fund for himself. Read More
Three present and former Bell city officials facing public corruption charges want the near-bankrupt city to pay their legal bills. Mayor Oscar Hernandez and two City Council members argue that despite allegedly taking $100,000-plus salaries for little or no work, they did nothing legally wrong and are entitled to have the notoriously cash-poor city cover their costs. Meanwhile, Bell is laying off workers and cutting basic services. Read More
Despite what appear to be widespread and damning allegations of corruption, city officials in Bell, Calif. are pleading not guilty:
Attorney General Jerry Brown’s move came as eight current and former Bell officials, including its former city manager, who was paid a salary of nearly $800,000, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to public corruption charges. Read More
Two years shy of its golden year, Muni’s “moving monuments” will be the center of attention at the 48th annual Cable Car Bell Ringing contest Tuesday.
The contest starts at noon in Union Square with two competitions — one for amateurs (local media and community representatives) and one for all-stars (car grips and conductors). Read More
I’ve asked it before, and I’ll ask it again — how much more corrupt can the city of Bell, California get?:
City officials were ordered to roll back the tax rate after the state controller discovered the city illegally raised its property taxes in 2007. The current rate is roughly 50 percent higher than it was three years ago. Read More
After the Los Angeles Times reported that the blue-collar suburb of Bell was paying City Manager Robert Rizzo $787,637 a year — with 12 percent annual pay increases — a crowd of indignant residents waited almost eight hours outside the July 22 City Council meeting. At midnight, it was announced that Rizzo, along with police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia, was resigning without severance. Read More
For a while now, we’ve been reporting on the city of Bell, California — a blue-collar Los Angeles suburb where the city manager was making nearly $800,000 annually and has a taxpayer funded pension that will top a million dollars a year. (See yesterday’s editorial on Bell.) Read More