Bell residents to deliver recall petitions to county registrar
Members of a Bell residents group plan to deliver a stack of signed recall petitions to the Los Angeles County registrar's office in Norwalk on Wednesday afternoon -- a key step in their effort to force an election to remove four council members.
Representatives from the Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse said they have collected 16,000 signatures in total, 4,000 for each council member they are attempting to recall. Mayor Oscar Hernandez and council members Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabel are the target of their efforts. All four council members were arrested last week as part of a corruption investigation by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.
"We want to ensure that the abuses we suffered from these dishonest so-called leaders can never happen again," Bell resident Marcos Olivas said in a statement.
The Bell group began its recall efforts after the council members refused to resign -- and after stories by The Times revealed that council members were earning salaries of nearly $100,000 for part-time service and, in some cases, for attending meetings that never occurred or lasted only a minute or two.
The signatures, which represent 25% of the city's approximately 10,000 registered voters, must be verified by the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Once the signatures are verified, the council can set an election date for a few months later.
-- Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Bell resident Violeta Alvarez, center, blows a horn as Maggy Alvarez rings a bell during a Tuesday night rally after the 4,000th person signed a petition to recall four members of the Bell City Council. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times