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Bell City Council meeting canceled after two lawmakers fail to appear

A City Council meeting in Bell during which lawmakers were to consider disbanding the Police Department was canceled Thursday night because of a lack of a quorum.

Residents in the scandal-blighted city had packed the council chambers in anticipation of the meeting.

But Mayor Oscar Hernandez and Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo failed to appear for the meeting. Both are among eight current and former top Bell officials who have been charged with multiple counts of corruption by Los Angeles County prosecutors.

The officials are accused of resorting to illegal activities to hide their oversized salaries.

Council member Lorenzo Velez said Jacobo was taken to a hospital, and Hernandez called in sick.

The proposal to disband the Police Department was one of a number of options on the table Thursday as the City Council considers drastic ways to help close a nearly $5-million shortfall that threatens to push the city into insolvency.

Some residents wore stickers on their backs that said, "I Love Bell Police -- the Good Guys." Others waived placards that read, "I Support Public Safety."

The signs were paid for by the Bell Police Officers Assn., which is fighting the proposal to dissolve the force.

"I definitely came tonight to support our police," said Patricia Varela, 51.  "These are our cops who know us, who know our community."

The council chamber was filled to capacity as about 40 people stood outside.

RELATED:

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris still mulling future of Bell prosecution

Bell mayor loses bid to have city pick up his legal costs to fight fraud charges

Cash-strapped Bell to consider disbanding Police Department, cutting salaries and benefits

-- Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb at Bell City Hall

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

The Bell Police department needs to be disbanded. The Bell Police Officers Assn is like any other street gang pushing their agenda and protecting their gang members.

Where was the Bell Police Officers Assn when city hall was targeting drivers so they could meet the impound quota that Rizzo demanded?

Bell Police Officers Assn was dirty then and they are dirty now.

They need to personally apologize to the people whose cars the impounded and sold. They need to leave the politics to the other criminals. You know the ones they are supposed to protect us against.

The city of Bell has a great opportunity to disband its scandal-plagued police department once and for all and save $4 million annually. If the good citizens of Bell miss this opportunity, there will be no doubt that they are push-overs of the police union and they will deserve all the dire economic consequences of appeasing the crooked police union.

Bell is going to be in the same boat as Maywood...they will eventually disband their police department. The Sheriffs in Maywood is doing a good job so far.

I would love to see the Times do some follow up coverage on how the Sheriffs are doing in the city of Maywood.

I agree with the poster at 8:48 that the Bell Police department has some explaining to do as they were deeply involved in the exploitation of the citizens of Bell. Routine dragnets to impound cars over frivolous violations don't sound like the work of individuals. It was a concerted effort by the department to create revenues. Their former Chief Randy Adams has still not explained publicly what made him worth $400,000 per year with his permanent disability of a bad back.

Bell Police MUST GO!!!

Bell police department officers are prejudice towards residents.

They have known all along what was going on and as soon as the police were told that they had to go by the city members because of money woes, the Bell Police contacted L.A Times and revealed all the dirty secrets.

Bell Police are DIRTY, LIARS and SOBS! They were the ones towing cars ( for no reasons ), giving pathetic tickets to hard working citizens and accepting bribes from many people including the ARABS. Everyone knows the Arabs are spies for the cops.

There is no difference between the security of Bell Police or the Sheriffs other than the city would save MILLIONS!!!! Since the sheriffs came into Maywood, the city has positively changed.

Many businesses have closed, the taxes in the city is ridiculous, no more help for the elderly/low income. My family have all agreed to move to a HONEST city where we will be living more comfortably with money in our pockets and great cops.

Lopez, Logan, Owens, Miranda, Jara and all these a**holes must go.

THE SHERIFFS ARE COMING! YEAH!


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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