John Eastman on PensionsAugust 16th, 2010
The City of Bell, California, has now become the poster child not just for grossly inappropriate salaries but for the utter fraud on the taxpayers that was perpetuated by the bloated pensions that will follow those bloated salaries. And most of the $600,000 annual pension tab due to just one of the extravagant salary thiefs, former City Manager Robert Rizzo, is not being picked up by taxpayers in Bell, but by taxpayers in Hesperia ($80,000 a year), Glendale ($160,000), and the numerous other cities that are in the same pension pool as Bell, taxpayers who had absolutely no say over the fraud at all, but were unfortunate enough to have employed Rizzo at a modest salary at some point in his career. CalPERS, the state pension fund, apparently knew of this all along. Attorney General Jerry Brown says he’s now looking in to the matter, but (surprise), we then learned that Jerry Brown’s own pension appears to have been illegally padded. California law allows taxpayers to sue public officials who have spent taxpayer funds illegally or wastefully, but the hurdle for proving “waste” is a high one, so let’s hope AG Brown pursues the criminal investigation with vigor and we find a way to repudiate the raid on the taxpayers.