Bell councilman says hefty paychecks outrageous

A councilman says he's outraged and he wants an investigation into the hefty paychecks given leaders of the tiny Los Angeles County city of Bell, including nearly $800,000 annually for the city manager.

Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who claims he's paid about $311 every two weeks, says in a statement Monday that an investigation into city finances is needed.

It was disclosed last week that Bell chief administrative officer Robert Rizzo is the city's highest paid executive at $787,637 a year. Police Chief Randy Adams gets $457,000.

Oscar Hernandez, mayor of the city of 37,000 mostly Hispanic residents, defends the high salaries. He says Bell was near bankruptcy when Rizzo took over and the city is now financially sound.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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