The troubled city of Bell has appointed a new city manager. The town in southeast Los Angeles County has been plagued by mismanagement. Eight former officials have been charged with public corruption. And the city is reported to be close to insolvency.
Doug Willmore spent less than ten months as the city manager of El Segundo. He was fired in February, soon after he brought to light a sweetheart deal between the multi-billion dollar oil company Chevron and the city. For two decades, Chevron had paid millions of dollars less in taxes than other refineries in the state.
Willmore’s proposal to significantly increase the acreage tax paid by Chevron met swift resistance. Willmore sued the city for wrongful termination as a whistleblower. City officials denied the dismissal was related to Chevron.
Willmore’s predecessor in Bell, Robert Rizzo, left the position in July 2010 after it was revealed that he was making almost $800,000 a year. Willmore is expected to sign a three-year contract for $175,000 a year.
In a statement, Willmore said “I don’t shrink from the issues that Bell faces, and I think the future is a bright one.”