Los Angeles, April 19 (IANS) The Los Angeles Times newspaper Monday won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing a salary scandal that led to the indictment of eight people, Xinhua reported.
The newspaper's series was chosen for the prize for public service over two other finalists -- Bloomberg News for stories on exploitation of low-income students by non-profit colleges and The New York Times for reports on the dangers of concussions in football and other sports.
The series on Bell city, which has a population of about 38,000 in suburban Los Angeles, began with reporters Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb and expanded to include more than 20 reporters and editors, the paper noted on its website.
According to the paper, the series began with a probe into Los Angeles' neighbouring city of Maywood's decision to contract with Bell for police and other services.
The probe revealed that most city council members and some top officials in Bell City were being paid exorbitant salaries. Most notably, then-city administrative officer Robert Rizzo was earning about $800,000 a year.
The resulting uproar led to the indictments of Rizzo and seven other Bell officials, including four members of the five-member council. Their cases are still pending.
Revelations about Bell salaries also led to more public disclosure of elected officials' earnings across the state, with information now readily available on various websites.
Los Angeles Times photographer Barbara Davidson also won a Pulitzer for feature photography for her series of photos on the victims of violent gang crime.
The Pulitzer Prize is regarded as the highest national honour in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition in the US. It is administered by Columbia University in New York City.
Prizes are awarded annually in 21 categories. Winners of the prize for public service get a gold medal and those in the other 20 categories receive a certificate and a $10,000 award.
The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian- American journalist and newspaper publisher. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917.