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California town's mayor out of jail after corruption arrest

From Rosalina Nieves, CNN
  • Oscar Hernandez spent a week in jail after his arrest
  • He is one of eight city officials arrested in a scandal over inflated salaries

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The mayor of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell, California, was released on bail early Tuesday after his arrest last week on corruption charges, sheriff's deputies said.

Oscar Hernandez posted $250,000 bond and was released from the Los Angeles County jail at 2:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, a week after he and seven other current and former city officials were arrested on charges of misappropriating funds and making or receiving illegal loans. The charges allege the officials misappropriated more than $5.5 million, including being paid for phantom meetings, and deliberately misled citizens about how much they were being paid.

Bell, a town of about 36,000 in southeastern Los Angeles County, has a median household income of less than $35,000, according to census figures. The high salaries paid to city officials -- some of them ranging into the the hundreds of thousands of dollars -- sparked local outrage and national attention when they came to light in July.

Hernandez is the fifth of those arrested to post bail.