Bell City Councilman Lorenzo Velez Makes CNN ‘Intriguing People’ List

Hey, doing the right thing gets some attention after all. Bell city councilman Lorenzo Velez was just named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People” for talking his colleagues into forgoing their wildly overinflated salaries.

The Bell, California, city councilman has successfully led an effort to persuade his colleagues — including Mayor Oscar Hernandez — to reduce their controversial salaries, and in the case of Hernandez, apologize.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Velez, who was appointed — not elected — to his position last summer, spent the weekend lobbying colleagues to adjust their salaries from $96,000 to his salary of $8,000.
Upon apologizing, Hernandez said he will work the remainder of his term for free. Three other administrators, who collectively were being paid about $1.6 million, have resigned. An investigation is pending.

Velez’s successful crusade for propriety may have been aided by the fact that California Attorney General Jerry Brown just subpoenaed hundreds of documents from Bell, and may be considering launching a criminal investigation into city officials’ bloated salaries.