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$787,000 salary for Bell city manager is outrageous, assemblyman says

July 16, 2010 | 10:32 am

Outrage is growing over revelations in The Times that the small city of Bell pays its top administrators some of the highest salaries in the nation.

Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), who authored a 2005 bill that limited some City Council salaries, expressed outrage over the salaries that Bell is paying top administrators.

“The president of the United States and other public servants who oversee much more complicated and sophisticated operations make much less than these city officials,” he said. “I think that makes it really clear these salaries are overdone.”

The City Council “is completely avoiding their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer,” he said.

The Times reported Thursday that Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns nearly twice the salary of President Obama, Police Chief Randy Adams gets paid about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia receives more than the chief executive for Los Angeles County.

Rizzo makes $787,637, Adams makes $457,000, and Spaccia makes $376,288.

Bell is being investigated by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office over the compensation of its City Council members, who receive about $100,000 a year for their part-time positions. In a city the size of Bell, a council member is typically paid about $400 a month, according to state records.

Bell made headlines in recent weeks when the city of 37,000 agreed to take over operations of the neighboring city of Maywood, which fired most of its employees and disbanded its police department when it could not obtain insurance.

-- Jeff Gottlieb