Is there anything else ?
Robert Rizzo. We've heard that name in Southern California for three and a half years now. Corrupt City Manager of Bell paid himself a seven figure salary, wrote his own retirement plan and pleaded no contest to 69 corruption counts. As the Feds called him '' The poster boy '' for corruption.
The Feds are involved because Mr. Rizzo has now agreed to plead guilty to income tax evasion. Apparently, it wasn't enough that he paid himself exorbitant salaries way out of line with anyone in a similar line of work and agreed to go to prison for that rather than stand trial (unlike his # 2 Angela Spaccia who rolled the dice and lost and was convicted ). The salaries, benefits and the pension wasn't enough, so he manufactured fake tax deductions for a horse ranch he owned in Washington to reduce his taxable income, and he got caught.
At the Roybal Building in Downtown LA today, Rizzo arrived for a hearing with his attorney James Spertus. Rizzo would not say a word to reporters literally. Spertus said Rizzo was trying to take responsibility for his actions, and he is. He did plead. Saved us all the trouble of a trial. Rizzo looked about the same short, heavy, rumpled and stressed. You have to wonder what he'd say if his lawyer let him.
One great moment inside Federal Court . I always look for things like this. Rizzo, sitting in one of the rows in his suit and tie,waiting for court to start, when in comes Jeff Gottleib, one of the two fabulous LA Times reporters who broke the Bell Corruption story and has been leading the pack ever since on reporting it. He essentially ruined Rizzo and Spaccia's and their families' lives by exposing their corruption. Well, Jeff chooses Rizzo's row to sit in and has to squeeze by him. Rizzo never looked up, never moved, and never blinked an eye as Jeff squeezed by. But, I'm sure inside Rizzo was thinking very evil thoughts.