BELL, Calif.

Mayor apologizes for high salaries, will work for free

BELL, Calif. — The mayor of this small, working-class city apologized Monday for the excessive salaries being paid to officials and said he would finish his term without pay.

Mayor Oscar Hernandez had last week defended the salaries in the blue-collar city of about 40,000.

The city’s chief administrative officer was earning nearly $800,000 a year before he resigned last week. Four of the five members of the City Council earn about $100,000 a year for running the city where about 17 percent of residents live in poverty.

Hernandez said he would not seek re-election when his term expires in March.

The City Council intended to take action to drastically reduce their pay at its Monday night meeting, according to another statement issued by the city.


President implores Senate to support campaign law

President Obama on Monday implored the Senate to pass a campaign finance law that Republicans and business groups are attacking as political censorship and an effort to limit the number of ads aimed at Democratic incumbents in November’s elections.

In a White House Rose Garden speech, Obama blasted GOP resistance to the DISCLOSE Act, a measure that would impose strict campaign donation disclosure requirements on unions and corporations that sponsor political ads.

“And you’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue. But of course, this is Washington in 2010,” he said. Senate Democrats said they intend to seek to end debate on the bill today.


Senator: Mislabeled graves could number in thousands

The Missouri senator whose subcommittee is investigating potential contracting fraud at Arlington National Cemetery said Monday the number of mislabeled graves there could be in the thousands.

An internal Army investigation found at least 211 discrepancies between burial maps and grave sites. The review found lax management of the cemetery and a reliance on paper records to manage the burial sites.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said the number of burial site errors could be much higher because the Army report was limited to a small section of the cemetery.


Pharmacies pull chemical sold as dietary supplement

Pharmacies are halting sales of OSR#1, a compound marketed as a dietary supplement to parents of children with autism, six weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called the product an unapproved new drug.

Several pharmacists told the Chicago Tribune they received an e-mail last week from Boyd Haley, president of CTI Science, the company that makes the product, informing them that OSR#1 would not be available after Thursday.

The product, sold as a toxicity-free antioxidant supplement, was featured on autism websites such as Age of Autism, whose managing editor described sprinkling it in her children’s juice and breakfast sandwiches.

The Tribune reported in January that the compound had been developed as an industrial chemical used to treat mining wastewater, an issue apparently first raised by blogger Kathleen Seidel of