You are who your friends are.

And unfortunately for the city of Maywood, associations with the city of Bell are proving that hanging with a bad crowd certainly has its consequences.

Maywood’s reputation is taking a dive, just months after the city opted to layoff all city employees and contract with Bell to run its city services.

Now, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Maywood is under inspection by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies over two city deals with ties to City Councilman Felipe Aguirre and other matters not relating Aguirre.

From the Times:

It’s unclear exactly how many transactions the FBI is examining in Maywood. Several sources with knowledge of the probe said one of the deals involves a $95,000 federal grant that Aguirre and a business partner received from the city in 2007. They used it to refurbish the facade of a property where the business – a community advocacy group – is located. Aguirre’s business received the grant despite concerns from the city’s planning director over a possible conflict of interest.

David Mango, the planning director, said he immediately called the city attorney’s office, which raised no objections.

In an interview, Aguirre said he regrets taking the money. He said he had concerns at the time but was never told he was ineligible for the money.

“It’s there, it happened, and I can’t take it back,” he said. “Do I wish it happened? No. Should I have talked to someone else and gotten better advice? Probably. But it happened and I can’t take it back and I can’t say it didn’t happen.”

Last week, officials from Maywood began the process to fire Bell as the city that runs all their municipal operations.

Former Maywood Interim City Manager Angela Spaccia, who was part of the decision to outsource to Bell, stepped down when it became known she was also being paid $376,288 a year as Assistant City Manager in Bell.

For more, read the Los Angeles Times article here.

James Spencer can be reached at