California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Monday "subpoenaed hundreds of employment, salary, and contract records from the city of Bell and its top officials" as part of a state investigation into the city's extraordinary salaries for top officials, according to an statement from his office.
"These outrageous pay practices are an insult to the hard-working people of Bell and have provoked righteous indignation in California and even across the country," Brown told reporters at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles Monday.
"I'm determined to get to the bottom of these exorbitant payouts and protect the state's pension system against such abuses, and today's subpoenas are an important step in that process," he said.
Brown's office gave Bell city officials 48 hours to turn over the records. The investigation by his office and the state public employee pension fund (CalPERS) comes after the Los Angeles Times revealed a near $800,000 annual salary for the small municipality's city manager and high pay for its chief of police and assistant city manager, all of whom have resigned.
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Protests were scheduled Monday ahead of a City Council meeting there. Demonstrators want four of five council members who pay themselves $100,000 a year for their part-time duties to cut their salaries by 90 percent or leave office.