The latest in the Bell saga came on Tuesday afternoon when news came that Los Angeles County prosecutors have launched an investigation into the city examining allegations of voter fraud as well as conflicts of interest involving city business.

The Los Angeles Times reported on an interview with L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley who described the investigation as “rapidly expanding and full-fledged,” and said investigators have been gathering evidence since March.

His interview implies a larger probe than previously acknowledged up until this point.

From the Times:

Until now, the district attorney has said it was looking at what it called high salaries paid to City Council members, who earned nearly $100,000 until they cut their own salaries on Monday. But Cooley said that part of the probe is specifically looking at whether council members received pay for meetings they didn’t attend.

Cooley declined to provide details about the voting fraud probe, other than to say it involves more than one election. Sources with knowledge of the investigation said prosecutors are looking into the use of absentee ballots during a 2009 City Council election.

Cooley’s comments come as a lawsuit filed by a former Bell police officer Monday alleged that several Bell police officers distributed absentee ballots and told residents whom to vote for in advance of that 2009 election.

For more, read the entire Times article.