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Robert Rizzo

February 23, 2011 | By Corina Knoll and Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
Former Bell Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo will not challenge most of the facts in the corruption case against him but instead will lean on the simple argument that everything he did was legal, his attorney said. As Rizzo's preliminary hearing on 54 corruption charges began Tuesday, James Spertus told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall that the question was "whether the core facts constitute a violation of the penal code. " Spertus said he had a tough road ahead.
January 17, 2011
The parking lot guy Re "Bell's Rizzo serving time behind cars," Column, Jan. 13 I had to laugh while reading Steve Lopez's column about Robert "Ratso" Rizzo. First of all, the picture is classic. He doesn't quite fit the image of someone working at a surfing museum. I loved that Lopez asked him if he surfed. I don't believe for a second that Rizzo was there out of the goodness of his heart. He said he was a volunteer. His job there apparently was to make sure nobody parked there improperly.
November 7, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
Angela Spaccia and Robert Rizzo are now bitter adversaries, each blaming the other for masterminding the Bell corruption scandal. But 10 years ago, when Rizzo hired Spaccia, she said she was enthralled by his "brilliant" stewardship of the small, working-class city. "You knew when you were in Bell, and you knew when you were out of Bell," the city's former second in command testified Thursday. Rizzo, she said, had "the perfect management style. " Spaccia took the witness stand in her own defense, at times tearfully recounting her years working in Bell.
December 9, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
Angela Spaccia, the $564,000-a-year deputy to the disgraced former city manager of Bell, was found guilty Monday of 11 felony counts related to her role in the corruption scandal, becoming the seventh official convicted of enriching themselves at the expensive of the working-class residents. Spaccia, the last figure in the Bell scandal to be convicted or enter a plea, was taken away in handcuffs after a jury rendered the verdicts in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Though she wept several times during her testimony, Spaccia showed no emotion when the verdicts were read, pronouncing her guilty of multiple counts of misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and secretion of public documents.
April 2, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
With former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo's trial slated to begin in September, his assistant now wants a separate hearing and may join her ex-boss in asking that the case be moved out of Los Angeles. Rizzo and Angela Spaccia were ordered to appear Sept. 9 on multiple public-corruption-related charges, but whether the trial takes place in Los Angeles or elsewhere - and whether the two are even tried together - remains to be seen. Spaccia's attorney, Harlan Braun, said he will ask that his client's trial be "severed" from Rizzo's.
August 8, 2010 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, whose $787,637 salary prompted widespread outrage, received an unusually lucrative package of benefits that increased his annual compensation to more than $1.5 million, according to city records reviewed by The Times. Rizzo's benefits package for this year, which covers time off, retirement and medical and other types of insurance, shows he was entitled to vacation and sick leave that totaled more than 28 weeks a year. Bell's interim city attorney said Saturday that Rizzo's compensation package raised serious questions and that the city planned to investigate who approved the perks and whether they are legal.
November 1, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
When Robert Rizzo pleaded no contest to corruption charges last month, many of the trappings of his former life as Bell's highly paid city manager were gone: the house near the ocean in Huntington Beach, the horse farm outside Seattle, the stable of racehorses. But Rizzo still has two lucrative streams of money from his days in local government that neither Bell nor prosecutors can touch: his 401(k)-style retirement account that once held more than $1 million and an annual pension of $116,628.
October 23, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Jack Leonard and Ruben Vives
The final chapter in the long-running Bell corruption scandal opened Wednesday with former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia taking center stage in a downtown L.A. courtroom where jurors must weigh whether she helped orchestrate the widespread graft or was simply a victim of her boss, Robert Rizzo. The trial is expected to lay bare details of how Bell leaders gave themselves exorbitant salaries while looting the working-class city in what became a national symbol of government greed.
October 4, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Paloma Esquivel and Ruben Vives
One of the most infamous pieces of evidence in the long-running Bell corruption case came in a chain of emails between Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Randy Adams, the incoming police chief of the small, working-class city. "I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell's money?! Okay ... just a share of it!!," Adams wrote to Spaccia. She responded: "LOL ... well you can take your share of the pie ... just like us!!! We will all get fat together ... [Robert Rizzo]
November 14, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
As prosecutors began their cross-examination of Bell's former second in command Thursday, Angela Spaccia clung to her story that Robert Rizzo was to blame for hiding annual raises of more than 40% for the two of them at the same time the city was struggling to fund its pension plan. The contracts that called for the pay raises were not included in any City Council agenda and the council never approved them, Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett said. "I had no involvement in the agenda," Spaccia repeated over and over.
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