CA fiscal official reviews city in pay scandal

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(L-R) City of Bell council members Lorenzo Velez, vice mayor Teresa Jacobo mayor Oscar Hernandez, coucilmen George Mirabel, and Luis Artiga, listen to residents asking them to resign during a council meeting on July 26, 2010 in Bell, California. The council members have voted to cut their salaries in response to public outcry at city officials' high salaries.

One of California's top fiscal authorities has announced a review of records in the tiny Los Angeles suburb of Bell, where revelation of huge salaries paid to city officials has led to the resignations of several administrators and forced City Council pay cuts.

State Controller John Chiang (Chung) arrived Tuesday in Bell and says he was asked by the city to conduct the review.

Chiang says the review will last up to six weeks and could be referred to the state attorney general and the Los Angeles County district attorney.

Residents have been outraged by such discoveries as the nearly $800,000 salary paid to a now-resigned city administrator and the nearly $100,000 salaries being hauled in by most of the part-time City Council, which slashed its pay by 90 percent Monday night.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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