BY: CHRIS BLANKINSHIP, ESQ.

Score one for the good guys! Today Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley filed charges against eight current and former Bell city officials, leading to arrests and really incredible photos ops. I particularly like the one where former city manager Robert Rizzo is stuffed in handcuffs into a car and looks as if he can't move his neck. Justice is sweet.

Rizzo appears to be the worst offender of the group. He alone has been charged with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflicts of interest. Apparently Rizzo had been taking a salary of almost $800K a year, was given absurd sick and vacation times, and was guaranteed annual pay raises. $800K is two times Obama's salary! This is all took place in a city of about 36K people, and a median household income of roughly $30K. The city is also facing charges of racial profiling against Hispanics, and a civil case for defrauding taxpayers.

If the allegations are true, and all the evidence so far seems to show it is, it's hard to imagine what was going through the minds of these officials as they continuously upped their salaries into the stratosphere. They must have know that eventually their salaries would be discovered by the media and the house of cards would fall, along with their reputations and political careers. Could they really have been so arrogant as to presume what they were doing was in the best interest of the city? What's scary is that this was able to transpire in plain view for even a short period of time. It seems likely there are other cities across America where politicians are committing the same abuses and taking advantage of taxpayers.

Cases like this where the public universally agrees on the outcome are rare. Usually there are nuances where public opinion can be divided, and sensitivities can be corrupted in order to instill doubt and perhaps even sympathy. In this case, Rizzo and his conspirators deserve everything that's coming to them. In hard times it's nice for the public to rally behind a common movement, and especially so if that movement seeks to abolish corruption and evil.

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