Standard & Poor’s said it has yanked its ratings on the scandal-plagued city of Bell due to a lack of timely information.
The agency pulled its BB long-term rating on Bell’s general obligation and GO pension obligation bonds, its BB-minus underlying rating on the Bell Community Housing Authority’s Series 2005 lease revenue bonds, and its BBB-plus underlying rating on the Bell Community Redevelopment Agency’s tax allocation bonds.
Fitch Ratings washed its hands of the troubled city earlier this month, withdrawing its ratings after issuing a final downgrade to the city’s already junk-rated debt.
Bell’s mayor, former city manager, and current and former City Council members have been arrested on charges of misappropriating more than $5.5 million from city coffers, according to the Los Angeles district attorney.
Former city manager Robert Rizzo, who was paid an $800,000 salary before he resigned in July, has been charged with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest. The allegations include that since 2008, Rizzo wrote his own employment contracts that the City Council never approved.
Bell, a blue-collar community near Los Angeles, has been under scrutiny since the Los Angeles Times revealed in July Rizzo’s high salary.