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'No-win situation' for Bell as it moves forward, state assemblyman says

September 21, 2010 |  2:07 pm

Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) praised Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley for filing criminal charges in the Bell scandal, but said the city now enters a very precarious stage.

In all likelihood, De La Torre said, the four arrested sitting council members will be removed by a recall before a conviction. But if they choose to resign, that presents another problem, he said.

"There is a question if they resign, as many are clamoring for them to do, if you want to hand the whole city government to an interim city manager," De La Torre said.

De La Torre is a former South Gate city councilman who won praise for helping clean up a public corruption scandal there several years ago.

"Without a quorum, a city council can't conduct any city business, and by default the city manager runs the city without input from a democratically elected board, even if it's an indicted one," he said. "People need to look at this very closely. Is it better to have these people ostensibly representing the people, in some cases possibly wanting to make amends? Or do they want to give the keys to one individual with no input from elected officials?"

"It's a no-win situation," De La Torre said. "There is no right answer to this at the end of the day."

-- Hector Becerra


Photos: Arrests in Bell