Former Police Chief Randy Adams is suing the city of Bell for severance pay, after being ousted.

Former Police Chief Randy Adams is suing the city of Bell for severance pay, after being ousted. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / August 2, 2012)

The police chief who was ousted after it was revealed that he and other city leaders in Bell were drawing enormous salaries has sued his former employers for severance pay.

Randy Adams effectively stopped working for the city shortly after The Times revealed the high salaries paid to the former chief, as well as Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia, Rizzo's assistant.

Adams was paid $457,000 annually, one of the highest law enforcement salaries in the nation and nearly 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck is paid.

Adams said in the suit that, while city officials pushed him to agree to resign and give up the year’s severance pay he was entitled to under his contract, he never agreed to resign nor to relinquish his severance.

Adams is also suing Pedro Carrillo, the former interim city manager in Bell, saying he released false statements about Adams' compensation. As reported earlier by The Times, city records showed that when Adams' benefits were included, his total annual compensation was $770,046.

This is the second lawsuit Adams has filed against the city. The first asks the city to pay his legal fees.

Officials in the small, working-class city greeted the latest lawsuit with anger.

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-- Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times