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Bell Audits Remain Incomplete Since Rizzo Departure

Critical fiscal data disappeared, went missing, misplaced new audit in Bell concludes

By Brian Hews and Randy Economy

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned that the city of Bell has remained unaudited for the past three years, including the critical period in which former indicted City Manager Robert Rizzo and seven other city officials were arrested on criminal charges for looting the city’s treasury for their own personal use.

LCCN has obtained documentation this week in the form of an internal emails authored by Bell City Manager Doug Willmore that confirm that the accounting audits for 2009-2010 are “expected to be done in the next 30 days” by the accounting firm of Macias Gini & O’Connell.

“The financial and accounting irregularities that they have encountered have been massive and much larger than anyone could have expected. The backup data needed to perform a complete and thorough audit has been missing, misfiled, or misplaced,” Willmore told members of the Bell City Council this week.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to LCCN on Wednesday that their office “was aware of it” but stressed that the DA has not received anything officials from city officials in Bell about the new found possible impropriates.

“Some of the items (in the audit) were presented to the County Grand Jury in the past,” Gibbons said.  She also pointed out that a new Grand Jury is impaneled every six weeks and that if there is new evidence of a crime that comes from the audit that a new case could be prepared and presented.

More information will be available tomorrow in Los Cerritos Community News’ print edition.

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