A small town of 36,000 just south of Los Angeles.
The kind of place people want to live and raise their kids.
No they don’t.
What a hot bed of corruption.
Five former elected officials of Bell have been convicted of multiple counts of stealing public money.
They’re looking at between 11 and 20 years hard time.
Former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and the others were all charged with paying themselves inflated salaries of up to $100,000 a year.
It’s not a rich town – one in four residents are below the poverty line.
And to make sure there was a way to get what they thought they deserved, they created fake boards to sit on that added $13,000 to the yearly salary of each.
His lawyer said he was unschooled and illiterate and had no training that would have alerted him that his huge salary was illegal.
He didn’t have a college or high school degree and didn’t even finish elementary school.
But he had a good heart, “We elect people who have a good heart. Someone who can listen to your problems and look you in the eye. There are a lot of elected officials who may not be the most scholarly. We had a vice president of the United States who didn’t know how to spell potato.”
All this allegedly started by powerful former city manager Robert Rizzo.
Prosecutors say city records show Rizzo had an annual salary and compensation package worth $1.5 million, making him one of the highest paid administrators in the country.
His salary alone was about $800,000 a year, double that of the president of the United States.
Rizzo and his assistant city manager face their own trial later in the year.
Just to put this in perspective, all these guys should have been paid about $673 a month for what was a part-time job.