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Enough signatures gathered for Bell recall

September 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A group that's leading a recall of four Bell officials said they have enough signatures to let the recall move forward. They reached their goal as one more member of the 'Bell Eight' bailed out of jail. The latest of Bell official to bail out is Mayor Oscar Hernandez. He posted $250,000 bond and was released from jail around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Hernandez didn't show up to work today or answer his door at his house.

His release comes as the organizers to recall him and three others on the city council announce that they have their goal of 4,000 signatures on petitions to move forward.

"Our next step will be endorsing to replace the current city council members. Right now we do have applications for whoever wants to come and apply for the position for the council," said Susana Lopez of the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA).

Councilmember George Mirabal, who remains in custody, Theresa Jacobo and Luis Artiga are the targets of the recall.

Jacobo and Artiga have bailed out of jail.

Former City Manager Robert Rizzo and former council member Victor Bello remain in custody.

With the recall effort taking a major step forward, residents and business owners tell us they are looking forward to new government leadership they hope they can trust.

"I hope the people do really come to work together as one, that there is more transparency, that whatever local officials do come into power do what is right for the people," Sonia Magana, a business owner.

"From now on I'm going to be like an eagle's eye. Every move they make we are going to be after them," said resident Macario Limon.

The petitions will be turned into the city Wednesday, which then gets turned over to the county registrar.

If things go according to their plan, they're hoping to get the recall election sometime next January or February before next March's municipal election with three of the five city council members up for re-election.

All eight officials are scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 21.

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