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Bell recall organizers claim enough signatures for vote

September 28, 2010 |  9:49 am

Organizers of an effort to recall Bell City Council members say they have enough signatures to force a vote and plan on getting a symbolic final signature Tuesday evening in front of City Hall.

Organizers with the Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse began the recall process in August after unsuccessfully calling for the resignation of Mayor Oscar Hernandez and council members Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal.

The council sparked an outcry earlier this year after it was revealed that four members made annual salaries of about $100,000 each for part-time service, including thousands of dollars for sitting on boards that never met or met only briefly.

The four, along with former City Administrator Robert Rizzo and three former city officials, were arrested last week on charges of misappropriating millions of dollars from the city. Hernandez, Artiga and Jacobo were released after posting bail.

To force a recall, organizers needed to gather signatures from 25% of the city’s approximately 10,000 registered voters, or about 2,500 signatures. They set a goal of gathering 4,000 signatures to account for any possible disqualified signatures, said Christina Garcia, one of the group’s leaders.

Organizers plan on getting the 4,000th signature in a ceremony Tuesday evening. The signatures must be submitted to the city and then verified by the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder.

Once the signatures are verified, the City Council must set an election, which could be three or four months later, Garcia said.

-- Paloma Esquivel