A
document sent to PublicCEO.com reveals that the city of Bell received
nearly $1 million of federal money in the fiscal year ended June 30,
2009 alone (see attached document). 

A
bulk of the federal money received by Bell was from the CDBG program
which is intended to provide assistance for low-income housing, among
other things. 

Did
the City use this money to help provide low income housing or did it
instead use the money to pad its highly paid administrators salaries?

It’s
a normal practice for cities to charge a part of their administrative
salaries to both federal and state grants and certainly a reasonable
amount would be appropriate.  However, given the outrageous salaries in
Bell, one has to wonder whether the federal grants were eaten up by
these salary charges or whether the community benefitted from this
federal funding. 

An annual external audit was required and
conducted, but unfortunately the city received a clean opinion and no
internal control or compliance issues were raised in the audit.

James Spencer can be reached at jspencer@publicceo.com