There is an amazing story out of Bell, California where citizens in the small city of 38,000 are outraged at news that Chief Administrative Office Robert Rizzo makes almost $800,000 a year and its police chief Randy Adams makes $457,000. As a point of comparison, Los Angeles (with a population of 3.8 million people) pays its police chief roughly half what Bell pays its Chief of Police. There have been calls for the resignation of Mayor Oscar Hernandez and other city officials.
In addition, Bell council members earn almost $100,000 for part-time work. Those salaries have triggered an investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Dave Demerjian, head of the office’s Public Integrity Division said Bell council members were receiving $8,083 a month, mostly by serving on city-related commissions, but California law limits salaries of council members to “several hundred dollars a month.”
Rizzo makes over twice the salary of the President of the United States in overseeing a city of fewer than 40,000 people.
Bell citizens made an annual salary of $24,800 per capita in 2008 and its revenues have been declining.
Rizzo is expected to resign or be fired.