Prosecutors on Tuesday announced charges against seven former top officials in the city of Beaumont, alleging a sweeping web of corruption that dates back more than two decades and cost taxpayers nearly $43 million.
The Riverside County district attorney’s office accused the officials of an elaborate scam involving the sale of municipal bonds for projects handled by companies in which they had a financial interest. They also alleged officials secured interest-free loans for friends and colleagues with taxpayer money.
“Public servants must remember a basic truth – we serve the people. Any money handled by a city or any government is the people’s money and should be handled as such,” said Riverside County Dist. Atty. Mike Hestrin at a news conference. “Those who run our governments and make the laws are not above the law.”
Hestrin added the case should be a cautionary note to other cities to ensure contracting is free of conflicts of interest and waste.
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