LOS ANGELES – Five former elected officials in a small, blue-collar California city who became a national symbol of municipal greed were convicted Wednesday of stealing taxpayer money by serving on a panel that evidence showed was created only to boost their annual salaries to nearly $100,000.

The former mayor of Bell and four onetime City Council members were convicted. One former councilman was acquitted of all charges.

The five were convicted of illegally taking money for sitting on Bell’s Solid Waste and Recycling Authority, an entity they could not prove had been legally established or did any work.

Records showed it met only one time between 2006 and 2010.

At the heart of the case was whether the six broke the law by paying themselves up to $100,000 to govern part-time in a city where one in four residents live below the poverty line.