State Controller John Chiang said his office needs more power to oversee local governments and agencies.
A few would-be whistleblowers suspected for years that the government in this working-class Los Angeles suburb was corrupt and that leaders were secretly paying themselves six-figure salaries.
The one-time police chief in the corruption-plagued city of Bell declared himself disabled when he took the job last year in a move that could someday earn him a tax-free state pension worth millions of dollars, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Eight current and former officials of the city of Bell appeared in shackles before judges Wednesday in a corruption case prosecutors said was so ingrained in the blue-collar suburb that almost anyone who could have blown the whistle was benefiting from it.
The mayor and former city manager of Bell were led away in handcuffs Tuesday, charged with six other officials with taking more than $5.5 million from the working-class suburb in a scandal that triggered nationwide outrage and calls for more transparency in government.