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Best Newspaper Reporter Orange County 2011 - Jeff Gottlieb

A few years back, Jeff Gottlieb resigned his job as an editor with the OC bureau of the Los Angeles Times to become one of only two writers covering the South Bay, which is how he and colleague Ruben Vives managed to uncover the massive corruption going on at city hall in Bell, a sordid tale of secret raises and bonuses for officials who ran the town like their own 401(k) plan. Like any good crime story, it even came complete with its own arch-villain, the almost cartoonishly obese city manager and Huntington Beach resident Robert Rizzo. Thanks to Gottlieb and Vives, the Times won a rare headline that didn't involve layoffs this past year: the much-coveted Pulitzer Prize for public service.

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