Crime & Justice

AG Brown sets up voter fraud hotline in Bell

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown expanded his probe today into the salary scandal in the City of Bell. His office has established a toll-free hotline for tips on possible election activity in Bell.

Brown's office has subpoenaed current and former Bell officials, including the mayor and members of the City Council. Now, he’s also going after their personal financial records.

"Ordinances, salary contracts, then other stuff, like gifts, and their expense reports, and other business dealings that they may have been engaged in," Brown told reporters at his office in downtown Los Angeles.

Brown, who’s the Democratic nominee for governor, said a new toll free hot-line — 866-625-4400 — will help follow up on tips his office has already received regarding voter fraud in Bell.

"We’ve gotten reports that officials were electioneering, picking up absentee ballots and returning them themselves to the election office. Well, that’s illegal. You can’t do that," said Brown.

Brown said his office is looking for tips on several recent elections. Five years ago, only about 400 of Bell’s 40,000 people voted on a measure that converted Bell into a charter city. That switch helped clear the way for large salary increases for city leaders. More than half of the ballots cast in that election were absentee.