High-paid Calif. council members say they'll slash pay
BELL, Calif. (AP) -- City Council members in a Los Angeles suburb under scrutiny for high salaries said today they will drastically reduce their pay at a council meeting later in the day.
The city of Bell issued a statement disclosing the expected cuts.
All four officials make about $100,000, a finding that has prompted backlash from the community and an investigation by the California attorney general.
Bell's city manager, police chief and assistant city manager all resigned at last week's City Council meeting, days after it was revealed they were making salaries totaling $1.6 million a year.
Bell is a blue-collar city southeast of Los Angeles with about 40,000 people.
Earlier in the day, California's attorney general said he had subpoenaed hundreds of records from the city.
Attorney General Jerry Brown demanded to see employment contracts from the city within two days to determine whether to file charges.
"The real question is what were they thinking?" Brown said at a news conference. "What was the atmosphere in Bell that would allow this and make it plausible at least to the members of the City Council."
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has launched its own investigation into the salaries.
The Bell Association to Stop the Abuse had threatened to recall the council members if they didn't resign or lower their own salaries.
The salaries exploded into public view after a Los Angeles Times investigation, based on California Public Records Act requests, showed the city payroll was bloated with six-figure salaries:
-- Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a year, getting a series of raises since being hired in 1993 at $72,000. President Barack Obama makes $400,000.
-- Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia made $376,288 a year.
-- Police Chief Randy Adams earned $457,000 -- $150,000 more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.