Former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo released from jail
Two weeks after he and seven other current and former Bell city leaders were arrested in a far-reaching public-corruption case, former City Administrator Robert Rizzo was released from jail late Wednesday, hours after a Los Angeles County judge said she was satisfied that the assets being posted for his $2-million bail did not come from illegal activity.
Rizzo's release time was listed at 11:58 p.m. on a Sheriff's Department inmate information website.
Rizzo, 56, cracked a slight smile but showed no other emotion when Judge Mary Lou Villar ruled that he could be released. She ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device and to surrender his passport.
The former city manager's attorney complained outside the courtroom that his client had been treated harshly by a district attorney trying to win public points as he runs for state attorney general. He said Rizzo should have been able to post bail much more quickly and without such resistance from prosecutors.
"He is a pinata, a figurehead," James Spertus said of the community anger directed at his client. "I hope the mob mentality subsides."
-- Richard Winton