That became clear as rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the city's debt to junk status, following a Times report that the city owes $35 million and likely has no way to pay it back. Great job.
The city, then led by Robert Rizzo, who has since resigned along with the fabulously paid police chief and assistant city manager, bought some federal land in 2007 (great time to buy real estate!) for a rail shipping facility that, whoops, never materialized when the city didn't do basic environmental reviews.
So, it turns out, he wasn't the Super Awesome City Manager who would have deserved $800,000 per year (near twice that with benies) but was actually so incompetent that he should have been fired ages ago. It's no wonder Bell has become such a perfect symbol of government failure and is being used to great rage effect by the anti-government crowd.
In other Bell news, the city is looking for a new police chief, and District Attorney Steve Cooley and Attorney General Jerry Brown have merged their investigations of the city and potential voter fraud and public corruption there.