Calif. gov signs law expanding auditor authority

October 5, 2011 - 10:25 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that expands the state auditor's authority to investigate misuse of city and county taxpayer funds.

The legislation was introduced by Bell Gardens Assemblyman Ricardo Lara because of the Bell financial scandal. His district includes the tiny Los Angeles County city.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/rmW9Xo ) says the new law allows the state auditor to investigate local government agencies to determine whether they are at risk of fraud, waste or mismanagement.

Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo was fired last year after it was learned he had an annual salary and compensation package of $1.5 million and was paying huge salaries to other officials.

Rizzo, his chief assistant and six former council members are charged with fraud and misappropriation of public funds.