The former city administrator for Bell, California funneled nearly $293,000 in federal funds to companies without using contracts, competitive bidding or gaining City Council approval, according to an audit by California Controller John Chiang. Chiang identified $293,000 in unapproved, unauthorized and possibly illegal expenditures by former City Administrator Robert Rizzo, who was arrested in September, along with his deputy and four of the town's five council members, on corruption charges. In total, the ex-officials are believed to have misappropriated over $5 million, including hundreds of thousands to their own accounts. The alleged scheme was so broad the Los Angeles District Attorney called it "corruption on steroids."
Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times