Corruption on Steroids

This is what happens when things get out of control.

“This is corruption on steroids,” Cooley said.

The charges came as the result of a probe that began in March when a former councilman revealed to county investigators he had been paid $100,000 while a member of the Bell City Council.

The resulting criminal complaint alleges the exorbitant pay was part of a larger scheme that netted city officials $5.5 million in funds misappropriated from Bell taxpayers.

Among those arrested in a series of early morning raids was Bell’s former chief administrative officer, Robert Rizzo, 56, of Huntington Beach.

Rizzo faces 53 criminal counts, ranging from misappropriation of public funds to falsifying public records going back to July 2005.

Cooley accused Rizzo of taking $4.3 million from the city and arranging for the other defendants to take a combined $1.2 million.

“This was calculated greed and theft,” Cooley said.

Read more: Cooley terms Bell scandal “corruption on steroids” - Whittier Daily News