Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Officials paid themselves outrageous salaries and raised taxes to do it.

In a town where one in four citizens live below the poverty line, former mayors and other elected officials were convicted yesterday of playing themselves inflated salaries and illegally raising taxes to pay themselves. Officials from the city of Bell, California were found guilty of misappropriating funds from the blue-collar town.

Several former Bell officials wearing their proper uniform.

Several former Bell officials wearing their proper uniform.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Bello, city, poverty, corruption, scandal, officials, taxes


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Five city officials from Bell, California, including a former mayor, were convicted Wednesday of misappropriating city funds to pay their inflated salaries. The officials were paying themselves more than $100,000 per year and illegally raising taxes to do it.

The city has just 36,000 residents and a quarter of them live below the poverty line. Most residents are blue-collar workers.

An audit conducted by the state controller's office discovered the city officials had illegally raised property taxes, business license fees, and other taxes to raise revenue to cover their extravagant salaries. The state ordered that the money be repaid.

The defendants in the case were appointed to the Solid Waste and Recycling Authority, which raised eyebrows because the agency appeared to have no purpose other than to pay the former officials a salary.

The agency only met once, and approves an annual pay increase of $13,000 for themselves.

Only one official on trial, Luis Artiga, was acquitted of all charges. Others, including former mayor Oscar Hernandez, Theresa Jacobo, George Mirabal, George Cole and Victor Belo were convicted of multiple charges.

Artiga did not participate in any of the corruption and was never present during any of the meetings.

A lawyer for former mayor Oscar Hernandez had the audacity to claim his client was functionally illiterate, saying he was uneducated and not the sort of "scholar" who understood city finances.

The astounding claim did not save him from conviction.

One of the people not on trial, but dealt with previously, was former councilman Robert Rizzo. Rizzo paid himself $1.5 million per year including a salary of $800,000, which is more than double what the President of the United States earns.

Rizzo looted the city treasury of $5.5 million.

The most recent defendants tried to claim that Rizzo fooled them into believing they too deserved large salaries.

It is unknown what the sentences for the former officials will be, but it is expected they will all face prison.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

That was one costly Web site! In fact the most expensive in Internet history. The Cost of Healthcare.gov estimated $1.7 Billion Watch

Image of The 60 contracts related to the development and operation of the Federal Marketplace started between January 2009 and January 2014. The contracts ranged from health benefit data collection and consumer research, to cloud computing and Web site development.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

That's one might expensive Web site! It's estimated that the Healthcare. Gove Web site, intended to facilitate health care reform, or "Obamacare," has cost U.S. Taxpayers about $1.7 BILLION dollars. That's not even the half of it, as the U.S. government is ... continue reading


Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules Watch

Image of Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, said that the new rules will ensure access to free contraception,

By CNA/EWTN News

The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, after the Supreme Court ruled against its application to certain companies this summer. (CNA/EWTN News) - The rules create a new way for non-profit groups to ... continue reading


BEEN THERE: Attorney General Eric Holder shares personal experiences while in Ferguson Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Ferguson, Missouri to investigate the officer-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown, Attorney General Eric Holder shared personal stories of his own encounters with racial discrimination. "I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a ... continue reading


One percent? Try the MORE THAN A THIRD in U.S. who rely on Welfare Watch

Image of Back in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back in the "Occupy Wall Street" days, protestors rallied around the concept of the United States' "One Percent," which referred to the people with power in the U.S. government. On the other side of the coin, more than ONE THIRD of all U.S. households are now ... continue reading


SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! Texas Governor Rick Perry cheerfully turns himself in Watch

Image of Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot. He's charged with felony corruption charges ... continue reading


HIDDEN FROM VIEW: President Obama renders decision largely in private, despite claims of transparency Watch

Image of Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors. Unilateral action on such issues as immigration, gay rights and tax policy has ... continue reading


Texas Governor Rick Perry assembles formidable high-profile defense team Watch

Image of According to Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor presenting the case against Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor may waive his arraignment altogether.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Governor Rick Perry must now complete the humiliating process of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken - but he's gathering a formidable legal team in his defense. High-powered attorneys are being gathered after his indictment on ... continue reading


More than 37,000 undocumented children who crossed Mexican border - going back to U.S. schools Watch

Image of The Department of Justice in May issued a statement reminding public schools that they are legally required to enroll all children, regardless of their immigration status.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They come tired and hungry, crossing great expanses of the desert in search of a better life in the United States - and they're going back to U.S. school shortly. More than 37,000 South and Central American children, who made their escape without parents of ... continue reading


Iraq MUST form stable government before bloodshed can end, Obama says Watch

Image of Many write off the idea that Iraq can unite to repel the Islamic State as wishful thinking.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States sent military aid to Iraq over the past weekend in the form of fighter jets pounding strategic points, President Barack Obama is adamant that Iraq must address its very real problems. The president insists that a stable government in ... continue reading


COMEBACK? Mitt Romney one of the Republican Party's most in-demand campaign surrogates Watch

Image of Mitt Romney says he isn't interested in a third presidential run in 2016. His recent moves have his supporters yearning for him to give it a go and arguing that he would be a stronger candidate than last time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he lost to Barack Obama in 2012, Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is hitting the stump for Republicans this fall. In recent months, in which Democratic candidates are keeping their distance from an unpopular president, Romney has emerged as one ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter