LA Times Bell City Scandal Coverage Garners Another Award

A week after receiving a distinguished writing award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the journalists responsible for an LA Times series exposing the colossal corruption among the ranks of Bell city officials have earned another prestigious honor – the George Polk Award for local reporting.

Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives and team of collaborators deserve each and every kudo received for their landmark bit of municipal investigating. It is a story that continues to reverberate, from the photo of administrator Robert “Ratso” Rizzo volunteering as a surfing museum parking lot attendant to a tearful (and highly unconvincing) mea culpa made last week on FOX 11 by former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia.

“This story connected with readers not just in Southern California, but across the nation,” said Times Editor Russ Stanton. “It is about regular people who are struggling under a crippling recession while their elected representatives were living high on the hog. And our coverage reaffirms the value that a free press provides in a democratic society.”

A hearty congrats to all involved.