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Bell vice mayor says highly paid city manager will resign or be fired

July 19, 2010 |  5:21 pm

The vice mayor of Bell said Monday that the city’s highly paid top administrator will resign or be fired in the wake of a Times report that he and other top officials are among the highest-paid municipal executives in the nation.

Bell council
Teresa Jacobo said she expected city Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo to lose his job at Monday’s council meeting.

“Tonight we have a meeting where we will take drastic measures,” she said. “Unfortunately, we had too much trust in people we felt were doing an excellent job.”

She added: “Mr. Rizzo will have to go one way or another.” Asked if Rizzo would resign, she said, "We hope."

Earlier Monday, a Bell city councilman called for a "completely open and transparent" investigation into the salaries of top executives and his council colleagues, saying if a Times report that Bell officials are among the highest-paid administrators and elected municipal leaders in the nation is true, they should resign immediately.

Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who was appointed to the council in the working-class city in October, also said he received only $310.62 every two weeks for his work as a councilman -- far less than the $100,000 his colleagues collected annually.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is investigating the council salaries. Normally, council members in a city the size of Bell would be paid about $400 a month, the D.A.’s office reported.

The Times has reported that Bell, one of the poorest cities in L.A. County, pays its top officials some of the highest salaries in the nation, including nearly $800,000 annually for its city manager.

Rizzo earns nearly twice the salary of President Obama, Police Chief Randy Adams about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia more than the chief executive for Los Angeles County.

-- Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives

Photo: Bell council meeting tonight. Ruben Vives / L.A. Times

INVESTIGATING BELL: A Times Special Report

-Is a city manager worth $800,000?

-Bell residents are not happy about high salaries.

-High salaries fuel anger in Bell

-Bell council members under investigation for $100,000

-Video: Why do Bell officials make so much money? The Times' Jeff Gottlieb explains.

-Bell city manager might be highest paid in nation