Eight former and current officials from Bell, California pleaded not guilty today to charges that they used public funds to inflate their salaries for part-time elected positions.
Some of the officials, who were arrested in September, made up to $96,000 a year for part-time jobs — 20 times the national average. Former City Manager Robert Rizzo banked nearly $800,000 a year.
Rizzo was also charged with two additional counts, “misappropriation of funds and conflict of interest,” the AP reports. Rizzo was already facing 53 charges against him.
The officials will return to court December 8 for a preliminary hearing.
Full coverage of the scandal here.