Bell clerk ordered to give false data

Feb. 10, 2011 at 6:29 PM
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BELL, Calif., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The city clerk for Bell, Calif., testified Thursday the city administrator told her to give the public false information that hid city officials' high salaries.

During a preliminary hearing for six former and current City Council members accused of taking enormous salaries for sitting on boards that met rarely or never, City Clerk Rebecca Valdez said she was directed to provide the false figures to city resident Roger Ramirez when he requested the information in 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Valdez said in response to Ramirez's request she copied council members' personal action reports, which indicated their true salaries.

"When I showed it to [City Administrator Robert Rizzo] for review, he didn't want me to give that to them," Valdez said, testifying Finance Director Lourdes Garcia met with Rizzo and then provided her with a memo with falsified salaries. The document stated Rizzo was receiving $185,736 a year, when he was actually collecting $632,700.

Rizzo faces more than 50 charges of corruption and falsifying public records.

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