Earlier this week, I noted the Los Angeles Times' report on Bell, California which revealed the L.A. suburb has some of the highest paid municipal employees in the country. The Times revealed city manager Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a year, with 12 percent annual pay increases as part of his contract. (Rizzo's last raise was $84,389.76.) Further, Bell's police Chief Randy Adams also made $457,000 a year, and the assistant city manager Angela Spaccia was making $376,288.
The Times is now reporting that all three are resigning after an indignant public descended on a city council meeting:
City Manager Robert Rizzo, Police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia will not receive severance packages. Rizzo will step down at the end of August and Spaccia will leave at the end of September. Adams will also leave at the end of August, after completing an evaluation of the Police Department.
The decision was announced at midnight to a crowd of angry Bell residents who anxiously had been waiting since the City Council began its meeting at 4:30 p.m. None of the administrators attended the session.
The crowd erupted in applause after the announcement but immediately yelled out questions about what would happen to the council members. Four of the five are paid close to $100,000 annually. When their questions were not answered, they shouted, "Recall!"
But fear not! Though they were fired without severance, Rizzo gets to keep his pension-- which tops out at over a million dollars a year! -- reports KTLA:
Still, Rizzo would be entitled to a state pension of more than $650,000 per year for life, the Times said. That would make him the highest-paid retiree in the state pension system.
At age 62, when Rizzo could also begin receiving Social Security payments, his annual pension would rise to $976,771, topping $1 million two years later.
There are no words. I hope the citizens of Bell aren't done sharpening their pitchforks. The house cleaning in Bell is far from over. State Attorney General Jerry Brown has announced an investigation into the high salaries. And per the earlier report, the local DA is still investigating corruption on the city council:
The district attorney is investigating Bell over the hefty compensation of its City Council members -- about $100,000 a year for part-time positions. Normally, council members in a city the size of Bell would be paid about $400 a month, Demerjian said.
The council has increased its compensation by paying members for serving on a variety of city agencies, including the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Community Housing Authority, the Planning Commission, the Public Financing Authority, the Surplus Property Authority and the Solid Waste and Recycling Authority.
Demerjian said city records show each council member receives $7,873.25 per month for sitting on those boards
Records indicate that the boards of those agencies perform little work and that board meetings take place during council meetings, though the names of some of the agencies seldom appear.
Oh, and the cherry on top of getting rid of the city manager who was being paid $800,000? He was also a menace to the community:
Rizzo was arrested in March on suspicion of drunk driving when he crashed into a neighbor's mailbox and then pulled into a nearby alley, police said.
His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.28% — more than three times the legal limit, police said.