Three suburban city officials in Southern California got the attention of Attorney General Jerry Brown and were forced to resign after published reports revealed their combined salaries exceeded $1.63 million.
Bell, Calif. Mayor Oscar Hernandez defended the workers Friday, saying their pay was in line with the norms for their positions, according to the Los Angeles Times
, which broke the story. But Hernandez also apologized to residents of the city of 40,000. "We recognize that today's economic climate and the financial hardships so many families are suffering put our past compensation decisions in a new light."
City Manager Robert Rizzo, who made $800,000 annually, Police Chief Randy Adams, paid $457,000, and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia, at $376,288, all resigned after a closed session of the city council. As part of the deal, the officials will not get severance packages, the Times said.
Brown, a Democrat who is running for governor
, said the salaries were "shocking and beyond belief." He said his office and CalPERS
-- the state pension fund -- would investigate to determine whether any "Illegality, self-dealing, or other improper activity" occurred in Bell city government in connection with the pay packages.