Eight well-paid current and former officials of the city of Bell, Calif., were rounded up and hit with a slew of corruption charges today, the LA Times reports. Among the eight were Michael Rizzo, the former city manager whose salary was nearly $800,000, and several council members who were collecting massive payouts for "phantom" meetings that lasted only a few minutes. The Bell administration was "corruption on steroids," the county DA said.
Rizzo alone was hit with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest. The defendants treated Bell's coffers "as their own piggy bank that they then looted at will," the DA alleged. “It is clear that Rizzo and [Angela] Spaccia were at the root of the cancer that has afflicted the City of Bell," said the interim city manager. "Also, it is a sad day for Bell that four current and two former members of the council also have been arrested." For more on the case, click here.