July 24, 2010
Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo has announced his resignation from his $787,637 a year job, as have police Chief Randy Adams ($457,000) and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia ($376,288), and we wish all three a not-so-fond farewell. Even if they performed their work brilliantly, and even if they believed in their hearts that no one earning less could properly serve their problem-wracked city, their pay was shocking, and so utterly out of step with their counterparts in neighboring municipalities and their own struggling residents as to be inherently exploitive.
August 9, 2013 |
Kettle bell exercises are a great multi-tasker, packing cardio and strength training in one fluid, low-impact session. The kettle bell snatch is a natural progression for those who have mastered the basic kettle bell swing. The move is demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train LA in Hollywood. What it does The swing-and-press movement works your back, glutes, hamstrings, triceps and shoulders. What to do From a standing position with feet more than shoulder-width apart, grab the kettle bell and swing it between your legs, keeping your spine in a neutral (not arched)
September 22, 2010
After weeks of revelations by Times reporters about the disturbing doings of Bell municipal leaders, it's gratifying to see county and state officials aggressively seeking moral and monetary payback for the city's aggrieved residents. On Tuesday, criminal charges of misappropriating public funds were filed against former City Manager Robert Rizzo as well as the mayor and three council members. Several other former city leaders also were arrested and charged. The arrests came a week after state Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2010 |
Despite vowing greater transparency in the wake of a salary scandal, the city of Bell is refusing to turn over public records to The Times, community activists and even a sitting councilman. "They continue to keep us in the dark," said Councilman Lorenzo Velez, who has been critical of the high salaries paid to top Bell administrators and other City Council members . "The problem is a continuation of so many years of doing whatever they wanted in City Hall." The Times and others have requested records involving elections, budgets, city financing and salaries that typically are available for viewing at city halls — and in some cases can be found online.
August 1, 2011
It took outrage and a new era of civic involvement among a previously apathetic electorate to throw out the greedy leaders of Bell who enriched themselves while bleeding the town of money. What Bell is finding out now is that it takes a lot more than rancor and attendance at council meetings to rebuild a ravaged city. Former City Administrator Robert Rizzo, who quietly collected close to $1.5 million a year in pay and other compensation, faces numerous criminal corruption charges, as do most of the former City Council members, whose incomes reached about $100,000 a year through hefty payments for serving on commissions that met for a minute or two. But even with Rizzo gone and an entirely new council in place, the level of distrust in Bell remains high.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2010 |
A prominent accounting firm's audits of Bell's city finances amounted to a "rubber-stamp," according to a state controller's study concluding that much of the alleged wrongdoing would have been detected earlier had the firm done its job. The long-awaited report is being closely watched because Mayer Hoffman McCann audits the books of dozens of government agencies in California and has 30 offices nationwide. Officials at several agencies, including California's public employee retirement board, have said they were awaiting the controller's study to help determine whether they would consider changes in their auditing contracts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013 |
Despite not working for about 18 months to take care of her ailing grandfather and son, Bell's former assistant city manager was never docked a single vacation or sick day and continued to draw her full salary and benefits. At the same time, Angela Spaccia testified that she continued to build up vacation and sick leave, which she then cashed out to repay loans she had taken from the city. In all, Spaccia received about $350,000 in loans that prosecutors contend were illegal. Spaccia, second-in-command in Bell when the city exploded in scandal in summer 2010, is fighting 13 corruption-related charges.
March 22, 2013
Re "Five guilty in Bell," March 21 The jury in the first city of Bell corruption trial has found five of the six defendants, all former council members, guilty on numerous charges and is undecided on other counts. Throughout the trial, the defendants denied their guilt, blaming their actions on the influence of former City Manager Robert Rizzo. They may have a point, but it is no excuse for not governing responsibly. Their defense is an admission of unfitness for holding office in the first place.
July 21, 1996
The issuance of arrest warrants against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic brings to mind the old-time children's story in which a conference of mice concludes: "Good idea! But who will tie the bell on the cat?" CAROL BENEDICKTUS San Clemente
September 2, 2010
T he people of Bell can hardly be blamed for wanting to throw the bums out. By bums, of course, they mean the city leaders who have enriched themselves at the taxpayers' expense. At first, the nearly $800,000 salary of former City Manager Robert Rizzo was as puzzling as it was outrageous. Perhaps there was an explanation? Maybe the veteran public employee was pulling off some sort of magic — such as maintaining extraordinary fiscal soundness for the city in the midst of bad times — that could have made him worth such a sum?