Former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo will try to make bail Wednesday
Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo will attempt to make bail a second time at a hearing Wednesday, but he's facing renewed opposition from prosecutors who say that some of the assets he's offering are tainted.
Rizzo's bail already has been reduced from $3.2 million to $2 million. He has remained in custody at Men's Central Jail since his arrest Sept. 21. He is charged with 53 criminal counts, including misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and falsifying public records to keep his lucrative salary secret.
Rizzo's salary of nearly $800,000 sparked outrage and led to intense scrutiny of the management of the small, working-class city. Rizzo was one of eight current and former Bell officials arrested on corruption charges. But authorities have said they believe Rizzo was the ringleader.
Los Angeles District Atty. Steve Cooley described him as the "unelected and unaccountable czar" of Bell and described the case case as "corruption on steroids."
Prosecutors have said that Rizzo must prove that the money he uses to post bail are not "ill-gotten gains" from the city.
Rizzo's attorney, James Spertus, lists four properties that he says he will use as collateral to post the $2-million bond. The properties, in Torrance and Los Angeles, are owned by a friend of Rizzo's wife and by Rizzo's mother-in-law.
-- Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo is arrested at his Huntington Beach home on Sept. 21, 2010. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times