Former Police Chief Randy Adams is suing the city of Bell for severance pay, after being ousted. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

Former Police Chief Randy Adams is suing the city of Bell for severance pay, after being ousted. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times. (September 4, 2012)

When he was the top cop in Bell, Randy Adams was one of the highest-paid police chiefs in the nation. Now the city wants it all back. After years of scandal that has left the city on the brink of insolvency,  officials filed suit Tuesday, saying Adams, who joined the Bell force from Glendale, owes his old employers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bell, a working-class city that paid huge salaries to its top administrators, said Adams must repay the city his entire $457,000 annual salary and a portion of the $20 million the city estimates it lost as a result of a corruption scandal that led to the arrests of eight former civic leaders.

The suit can be read as an answer to one the former police chief filed against Bell last month for severance pay. Adams was ousted by the city.

He sued the city for legal costs he spent defending himself against a state attorney general lawsuit that accused him and others of plotting to enrich themselves at city expense. The suit has since been dismissed.

“A lot of people say, 'Why aren’t you going after Randy Adams?' That has been answered today,” said Anthony Taylor, an attorney for Bell.

-- Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times 

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