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A horrific example of bad government is the city of Bell, CA. In 2011, the mayor, all but one of the council members, the city manager, and a city administrator were arrested and are now awaiting sentencing and are likely to get 4 year prison terms each. A total of $6.7 million was siphoned off the city and much more would have been lost due to fraudulent retirement benefit liabilities in the out years.

The investigation also involved the police chief and ten officers regarding possible fraud related to pension plans. In addition, the city employees were receiving excessively high salaries and benefits.


Charges included:

Two diligent reporters from the LA Times are credited with uncovering the criminal activities. Notice that it was NOT THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY that discovered the crime! Instead it was discovered by two outsiders. That is very revealing.

Too bad the city of Bell could not produce even a single citizen like Pat Meyering.


The lesson:

City government is only as good as we citizens make it!


This wikipedia article City of Bell scandal has the details of the case.