Responding to the fallout from the revelations of exorbitant salaries in the Southern California city of Bell, state Controller John Chiang Monday announced a new website listing the salary, pension benefits, and other compensation for more than 594,000 city and county employees throughout the state.
Bell exploded into the spotlight this summer with press revelations that it was paying then-city administrator Robert Rizzo about $800,000 year. The fallout since then has included civil and criminal charges against Rizzo and other city officials, and reports of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the city’s municipal bond disclosure.
Chiang responded by announcing new requirements for cities and counties to submit wage and compensation data to his office.
“The absence of transparency and accountability invites corruption, self-dealing, and the abuse of public funds,” he said in a statement. “This website will help taxpayers scrutinize local government compensation and force public officials to account for how they spend public resources.”
The controller reported that 83% of cities and counties successfully complied with the reporting requirements. Non-complying cities and counties are published on the website, and face penalties of $5,000.
The reporting requirements will apply to special district and state employers by June, Chiang said.
The website is http://sco.ca.gov/compensation_search.html