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The Failure of Governance in Bell, California: Big-time Corruption in a Small Town

January 10th, 2018

Thom Reilly, our Randall Lewis Seminar speaker on January 10, wrote a penetrating study of the Bell scandal that rocked California local government. Dr. Reilly’s book details how the City of Bell was rendered vulnerable to such massive malfeasance. It is a grim and nearly unbelievable story you won’t want to miss.

The LA Times investigative series on municipal corruption, which won a 2011 Pulitzer Prize, revealed that Bell city officials received salaries that were the highest in the nation. Seven, including the mayor, city administrator, assistant city administrator and four council members were convicted on graft and corruption charges. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley described it as “corruption on steroids.”

By special arrangement with the publisher, Thom’s book will be available at a 30% discount to seminar attendees.


Dr. Thom Reilly is currently the Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Prior to his appointment, he served as director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University (ASU) and as a professor in the School of Public Affairs. He’s currently a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Reilly has authored numerous published works on public pay and benefits, governance, HIV, and child welfare. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Governing magazine, Businessweek and The Associated Press.

He previously served five years as County Manager for Clark County (Las Vegas), responsible for a $5.8 billion budget and administrative oversight of nearly 12,000 employees. Thom received his master’s and doctorate of public administration from USC and a master’s in social work at ASU.