DA probes voter fraud allegations in Calif. city

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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.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says it is investigating allegations that off-duty police officers in the troubled city of Bell went door-to-door with absentee ballots last year and attempted to tell people how to vote.

District attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said Tuesday the office is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of Bell, including allegations about the officers.

The district attorney and state attorney general are also investigating huge salaries paid to city leaders.

Resident Hugo Herrera told The Associated Press his mother was one of those misled by an officer into casting an absentee ballot for a candidate she didn't support. The Los Angeles Times reports that a retired police sergeant is suing over the issue.

Interim city manager Pedro Carrillo has declined comment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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