Bell, California sues former city manager Rizzo for millions

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The former Bell city manager has been sued by the city, accusing him unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. The city seeks compensation in the millions of dollars. The complaint charges, “Robert Rizzo embezzled, stole, and misappropriated millions of dollars in city funds by obtaining grossly excessive and completely unwarranted compensation packages.”

The Los Angeles Times reported in July that Rizzo and other city officials were draining city coffers with excessively rich compensation packages, while aggressively hiking taxes on the city’s blue-collar residents. Soon after the Times began reporting the abuses, Rizzo was forced to resign.

The new lawsuit is a cross complaint to a lawsuit filed by Rizzo, asking the city to indemnify him from legal actions taken by the state of California against him. The city is asking the court to throw out that request.

The complaint accuses Rizzo of self-dealing to inflate his annual salary, including charging the city for 107 vacation and 36 sick days at a cost of $304 per hour. By the time he was forced out of office, his total compensation package was roughly $1.5 million per year.

Rizzo’s attorney belittled the lawsuit, saying the city had no proof of the alleged crimes.

Los Angeles Times

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