Audit finds city of Bell misspent $710,000 in state and federal funds

A display of pictures of current and former City of Bell council members who were arrested on corruption charges is seen following a news conference on September 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
A display of pictures of current and former City of Bell council members who were arrested on corruption charges is seen following a news conference on September 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California's state controller released the latest audit of the City of Bell's finances today, which found that the city unlawfully spent $710,000 in grants and other funding from the state and federal governments.

State Controller John Chiang's audit shows that city officials spent the funds without valid contracts in place, paid for services not covered by those funds or awarded contracts without competitive bidding.

Chiang recommends that the city work with federal, state and local governments to recoup the misspent funds. Earlier audits found that Bell officials mismanaged funds and illegally hiked taxes to pay for salaries and pensions.

Chiang says this latest audit brings the City of Bell's total amount of questionable spending to more than $6 million.

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