They're amongst the highest paid city government officials in the nation, the 15 Los Angeles City Council "members" who must be very nervous about what's going on in terms of investigations into the high salaries paid to elected city officials in the City of Bell and other LA County cities.
Today a new voice was added to the many who now question whether councilmen are worth the high salaries they pay themselves. Former Assistant US Attorney Adam Schiff (Rep. D-Pasadena) "called on federal prosecutors to examine political corruption in Los Angeles County" according to the Pasadena News Star.
Schiff's call to arms is intriguing as he wants the US Attorney to conduct the investigation, not LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who made international headlines by busting "corruption on steroids" in the City of Bell, as well as prosecuting Los Angeles City Council "member" Richard Alarcon for living outside of his council district.
Perhaps Schiff felt it was incongruous for Cooley to pursue an investigation into the LA City Council's lack of action in the face of very damning evidence against Alarcon? Many are wondering why Alarcon should continue to receive in excess of $170,000 a year while facing charges that appear to be incontestable. Yet the City Council has steadfastly refused to consider suspending Alarcon's "CEO-like" salary while he struggles to find some excuse for not residing in his council district to such an extent that a homeless person was able to move in.
But it is not only Alarcon's pay that Schiff might be concerned about. All 15 Los Angeles council "members" receive over $170,000 a year, but many nevertheless consistently fail to show up for scheduled council meetings. Schiff may be on to something here as there certainly seems to be more than a degree of similarity between the charges in the Bell City case where councilmen received high salaries but rarely showed up for work, and the tardy attitudes of the Los Angeles City 15.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is precluded from investigating and/or prosecuting his clients for taking high salaries and not showing up for work, and perhaps Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley already has enough on his plate. Maybe it's time for the US Attorney to do something to justify his salary and clamp down on the Los Angeles City Council - somebody has to.
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