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Robert Rizzo

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
November 20, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Using a slide presentation that began with a stack of $100 bills atop the city seal, the prosecutor Wednesday said that the widespread corruption in Bell was the work of the city's top administrators - Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia. "There wasn't a mastermind in this case," Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman said. "There was a master and a mind. Mr. Rizzo was in charge. He was the boss, he had the power… but Ms. Spaccia made what he wanted to happen, happen. " After a month of testimony, but no appearance by Rizzo, who quietly pleaded no contest to 69 felonies last month, Spaccia's trial began winding down as the prosecution began its closing argument in a case that is rooted in the 2010 Bell corruption scandal.
October 25, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Through a secret arrangement to double his generous vacation and sick day allotments, former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo was actually making at least $1.18 million, much more than has previously been reported, a trial witness said Friday. Rizzo and his top aide, Angela Spaccia, drew up a document awarding themselves 33 hours of vacation time every two weeks and each actually drew two paychecks, one for the salaries and the second for the vacation and sick time payouts, Lourdes Garcia, the city's former finance officer, testified.
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