Colloquium Series: Thom Reilly

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

Thom Reilly, director, Morrison Institute for Public Policy, professor, School of Public Affairs

In the late 2000s, the small Southern California city of Bell erupted in a scandal that revealed a truly astonishing level of municipal corruption—described by Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley as “corruption on steroids.” The Failure of Governance in Bell, California: Big Time Corruption in a Small Town, by Arizona State University Professor Thom Reilly --himself former county manager of Clark County, Nevada —details how Bell was rendered vulnerable to such massive malfeasance by a disengaged public, lack of established ethical norms, absence of effective checks and balances, and minimal coverage by an overextended area news media. It is a grim and nearly unbelievable story. By considering factors arising from both theory and practice, Reilly makes clear why the sad saga of Bell California, represents both a case study and a warning.

Thursday, Sept. 8
Downtown Phoenix