Ousted Calif. Police Chief Randy Adams, Who Made $457,000 A Year, Sues For Severance

Bell police chief sues severance

He may have taken an oath to serve and protect the public, but a former police chief in California, ousted two years ago amid a pay scandal, now appears more interested in padding his wallet on the backs of taxpayers.

Randy Adams (pictured above), who served as police chief in the Los Angeles suburb of Bell, is suing the small, working-class city for severance pay, saying that he was pushed out of his $457,000-a-year position and never agreed to surrender his severance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The newspaper notes that Adams' annual pay was one of the highest law-enforcement salaries in the nation, and previously reported that city records showed that with benefits, Adams' total annual compensation was $770,046.

Adams, who was hired in 2008, currently draws a monthly pension of $22,000 -- equal to $264,000 a year -- one of the highest among former public employees in the state.

In a lawsuit filed last week, the former police chief claims that he was pushed from his job, and didn't willingly agree to resign or surrender his severance. The lawsuit is the second that Adams has brought against Bell. The first asks the city to pay his legal bills.

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"The filing of this suit looks to be the height of hypocrisy to me," Fox News quotes City Manager Doug Willmore as saying in a statement. "Randy Adams was a police chief who was making more money per year than the president of the United States. In my opinion, his compensation was outrageous."

Willmore was hired in May. He succeeded Robert Rizzo, one of seven Bell officials who have been charged with fraud and misappropriation of funds, following local and state investigations. A trial is set for January. Adams isn't among defendants.

Adams, Rizzo and Angela Spaccia, the former assistant chief administrative officer, resigned in July 2010, after an investigation by the Times revealed that they earned extraordinary salaries. Rizzo took home nearly $790,000 a year, while Spaccia was paid more than $376,000.

KCBS-TV reports that Willmore plans to fight Adams' latest suit, saying the claim "will be answered with a counterclaim that will far exceed anything that he is asking for."

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