Patt Morrison for August 17, 2010

The Bell effect – citizens demand transparency and get it

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From the now infamously high salaries of Bell’s city council, to the questionable city contracts in Maywood and the residents of Hawaiian Gardens gathering signatures in an effort to recall two city council members, corruption seems to be spreading across the Southland.

Over the past several months, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have opened investigations, along with the California attorney general Jerry Brown’s office and L.A. County district attorney Steve Cooley’s office, into several local city governments over various allegations of corruption. From the now infamously high salaries of Bell’s city council, to the questionable city contracts in Maywood and the residents of Hawaiian Gardens gathering signatures in an effort to recall two city council members, corruption seems to be spreading across the Southland. What’s more, with media coverage depleted by a recession, there’s little investigative reporting serving those communities and many of the community members close enough to catch wind of the corruption don’t have the resources to hire legal representation. Patt talks with some whistleblowers and community activists about the seemingly widespread corruption popping up across LA County and how these groups got their voices heard.

Guests:

Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter

Cristina Garcia, spokesperson for the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA)

Bob Stern, President of the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonpartisan organization that helps to implement innovative approaches to improving social problems and the processes of self-government

Steve Cooley, District Attorney, Los Angeles County


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