Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsRobert Rizzo
IN THE NEWS

Robert Rizzo

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
We know his crimes - boosting his compensation to $1.5 million a year for managing the small working class city of Bell, and allowing the City Council and fellow administrators to similarly fleece taxpayers. We know his likely punishment - he pleaded no contest to 69 felony corruption charges last year and faces 10 to 12 years in prison, plus several million dollars in restitution. Yet, we still don't know why Robert Rizzo chose to rip off the city he was hired to manage. At least, not from his own mouth.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 19, 2014
Re "Rizzo is sentenced to 12 years in prison," April 17 Now that another chapter in the saga of the city of Bell corruption scandal has been closed, let's thank the Founding Fathers for the constitutional amendment that guarantees freedom of the press. We see, in countless media investigations of wrongdoing by officials such as former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo, a shining beacon of hope for freedom, fair play and democracy. Without the media - more precisely, newspapers in America - we would be like a small ant being stepped on by a Herculean giant of institutional self-interest.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Corina Knoll and Christopher Goffard
Four years after he became the face of municipal greed, Robert Rizzo broke his long silence Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom and asked a judge for mercy. The former Bell administrator was pale and baggy-eyed, and his thinning hair had turned gray. For many, there was hope he would finally reveal how he engineered a brazen scheme to boost the salaries of top officials that left the working-class city tumbling toward bankruptcy. But in a small, halting, scratchy voice, Rizzo, 60, offered only the vaguest of apologies, and no details.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Corina Knoll
Sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution in connection with a massive public corruption scandal, former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo walked to his car Wednesday a defeated man. “I should have realized the salaries were way out of whack and taken steps to bring them back in line, but it just got away from me,” Rizzo said in an brief chat with The Times. "There's not much I could do after a period of time.” FULL COVERAGE: Corruption in Bell As he spoke about a block from the downtown Los Angeles courthouse where his fate had been sealed moments earlier, a man recognized him and shouted out, “Taxpayer justice.” “I can't go anywhere,” Rizzo murmured.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The Bell corruption case is now focusing on Robert Rizzo, who prosecutors allege was the mastermind of public graft that generated national attention. A trial ended this week for six former Bell council members tried for misappropriating public funds. During three agonizing weeks of deliberations, the jury struggled to determine whether the council members' salaries - which approached $100,000 a year - violated state law. The jury found five council members guilty of some charges and not guilty on some others, and they acquitted one councilman outright.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Jack Leonard and Ruben Vives
Robert Rizzo, the central figure in the scandal that made the working-class city of Bell a national symbol for government graft, effectively admitted for the first time Thursday his role in the corruption scheme. On the eve of his trial, Rizzo made a surprise appearance in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and pleaded no contest to 69 felony charges of misappropriating public funds, hiding and falsifying records, perjury and other crimes. Prosecutors said Rizzo would be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2011 | By Mona Shadia, Los Angeles Times
The man at the center of Bell's pay scandal has put his upscale Huntington Beach home on the market. Former City Administrator Robert Rizzo is asking $979,000 for the four-bedroom, 31/2-bath house. The two-story, 3,250-square-foot house in the 1900 block of Lake Street is near City Hall, in one of Huntington Beach's most affluent residential areas. Houses there range from the mid-$700,000s to the mid-$2 millions, said Rizzo's selling agent, Bill Cuppy of Pier Realty. Cuppy was also Rizzo's agent when he bought the house in 2007.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2011 | Steve Lopez
In nearly four decades as a journalist, I've tossed a fair number of public figures onto the grill. But I don't recall a reaction as polarized as the response to my Jan. 13 skewering of former Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo. Lots of people loved it. "One of your best!!!" wrote reader Margaret Schwartz. And lots of people hated it. "Maybe you should start your own vigilante business. What a jerk. You need help as much as Rizzo does," wrote John Earl. By mid-morning on the day it ran, Times editors asked if I would respond online to readers who were posting comments on our website in a running debate about whether the column was a fair shot or a cheap shot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
If Robert Rizzo wants to "make amends" to the city of Bell -- as his attorney said Thursday -- then members of a local activist group are expecting him to disclose more information about corruption in the city and others who may have participated in it. "If this is indeed true, and not just a legal tactic to avoid civil liability, then we will determine Mr. Rizzo's sincerity based on his actions and full disclosure of the extent of his corruption and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Robert Rizzo, the former city manager of Bell who already has pleaded no contest to 69 corruption felonies, pleaded guilty Monday to federal tax charges in which he claimed more than $770,000 in phony losses, mostly on his horse ranch. Rizzo was dressed in a blue blazer and gray pants, as he has been for nearly all his court appearances. His hair, dyed brown when he was illegally receiving $1.5 million in annual compensation from Bell, is gray. He agreed last month to plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit tax fraud and making a false income tax return.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Corina Knoll and Christopher Goffard
Four years after he became the face of municipal greed, Robert Rizzo broke his long silence Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom and asked a judge for mercy. The former Bell administrator was pale and baggy-eyed, and his thinning hair had turned gray. For many, there was hope he would finally reveal how he engineered a brazen scheme to boost the salaries of top officials that left the working-class city tumbling toward bankruptcy. But in a small, halting, scratchy voice, Rizzo, 60, offered only the vaguest of apologies, and no details.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Corina Knoll and Christopher Goffard
Four years after he became the face of municipal greed, Robert Rizzo broke his long silence Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom and asked a judge for mercy. The former Bell administrator was pale and baggy-eyed, and his thinning hair had turned gray. For many, there was hope that he would finally reveal how he engineered a brazen scheme to boost the salaries of top officials that left the working-class city tumbling toward bankruptcy. But in a small, halting, scratchy voice, Rizzo offered only the vaguest of apologies, and no details.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The city administrator who ruled the city of Bell during an era of widespread corruption was sentenced Monday to 33 months behind bars for tax fraud, the first of two prison terms he is expected to be handed this week. On Wednesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge is expected to add years more to Robert Rizzo's punishment for plundering the small town's treasury. When Rizzo pleaded no contest in October to 69 corruption-related charges, Judge Kathleen Kennedy said she would sentence Rizzo to 10 to 12 years in prison, a term he would be allowed to serve concurrently with his federal sentence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Federal prosecutors have recommended that former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo go to prison for nearly three years when he is sentenced on tax fraud charges Monday, saying his conduct is "clearly more egregious than that of many other tax violators who do not hold public office and who do not steal public monies.” This begins a momentous week for Rizzo, with the big day being Wednesday, when he is scheduled to be sentenced on 69 felonies related...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Kate Mather
Prosecutors are asking a Superior Court judge to send the former second-in-command in scandal-plagued Bell to prison for 12 years and eight months. Angela Spaccia, who has been in jail since her conviction in December on corruption charges, is expected to be sentenced Thursday. Spaccia's request for a new trial was denied, as was another motion that her former boss - Robert Rizzo - be called to the witness stand. The attorney representing the former assistant city manager asked Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy to take into account a letter his client wrote to the court that said she regretted her actions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Kate Mather
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge lashed out at a former Bell leader Thursday, sentencing her to more than 11 years in prison and branding her a "hog" for tapping the town treasury for her lavish salary while the working-class city slid toward insolvency. Angela Spaccia became the first person sentenced in the municipal corruption case, and the lengthy prison term was the first indicator of how Judge Kathleen Kennedy intends to punish those convicted of misappropriating more than $10 million from one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2010 | By Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The new boss kept his office spartan and impersonal, the walls stripped of photos, the desk conveying no hint of his life beyond the red-brick walls of City Hall. It was 1993, a bleak, recession-bit year, and Robert Rizzo arrived in Bell trailing the vague whiff of scandal. His last city administrator job, in the high desert city of Hesperia, had ended badly, with accusations that he'd steered city improvement funds toward salaries. But the Bell officials who hired him did not dig deeply into his past.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo is expected in court Monday and is expected to plead guilty to filing false tax returns. From 2005 through 2010, the year he was ousted from his job after his salary was revealed, Rizzo claimed more than $770,000 in phantom losses on his tax returns, further inflating his take-home pay. He is already facing 10 to 12 years in prison for his role in a corruption scandal, but agreed to plead guilty to...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Corina Knoll and Kate Mather
The former second-in-command in the scandal-plagued city of Bell became the first person sentenced in the city's massive public corruption case Thursday, ordered to spend 11 years and eight months in prison for misappropriating public funds from one of Los Angeles County's poorest cities. Angela Spaccia, who has been jailed since she was convicted in December on 11 corruption-related charges, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, pinning the blame on the city's strong-willed chief executive and arguing that she wasn't even at City Hall when much of the wrongdoing took place.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|