California state legislators announce legislation in response to Bell scandal

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Nataly Tavidian/KPCC

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez speaks at a press conference on August 19, 2010 announcing legislation in response to the scandals involving the pay of Bell city officials.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced legislation today in response to a city pay scandal in Bell.

"An unforgivable offense – they made the decision, and a series of decisions, based on self-interest rather than the people's interest," said Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "The bills that both houses will work on over the next 10 days will increase transparency and ensure accountability of local government officials and their decisions."

Perez, D-Los Angeles, added: "The inflated salaries paid Bell city officials is a gross affront to the hardworking people of Bell, and frankly, people all over California.

"At a time when Californians are struggling to cope with the most devastating recession since the Great Depression, our elected officials and civic leaders need to be tightening their belts alongside of everyone else."

Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate, said that this legislation addresses the three main problems in Bell: city council salaries, transparency and contracts for administrators.

De La Torre specifically mentioned Robert Rizzo, the city manager making almost $800,000 per year.

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