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Rizzo to be released from jail after judge accepts $2-million bail offer

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Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, who is facing 53 charges that he helped misappropriate millions in public funds, will be released from jail after Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Villar said she was satisfied that the money being posted for his $2-million bail was not linked to the money he made in made in Bell.

Rizzo  must wear an electronic monitoring device and surrender his passport.

Rizzo has been described by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley as "the unelected and unaccountable czar" who oversaw "corruption on steroids" in Bell.

The former city administrator had already fought to slash his bail from $3.2 million to $2 million. Wednesday's hearing was to determine whether he could provide collateral for the bond that was unrelated to his city earnings.

Rizzo's nearly $800,000 salary sparked outrage and led to revelations of widespread inflated salaries among Bell officials -- as well as numerous other alleged misdeeds, including illegal taxation and voter fraud.

Rizzo has been in jail since Sept. 21, when seven other current and former city leaders were taken in custody in a sweep.

Rizzo could face more than 40 years in prison if convicted of 53 felony counts, including misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and falsifying public records to keep his lucrative salary secret.

His attorney James Spertus argued Wednesday that four properties in Torrance and Los Angeles not owned by Rizzo should be sufficient collateral for his bail and are unrelated to Rizzo's earnings. In court papers, he presented an insurance analysis showing their combined value as $2.3 million.

However, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman questioned whether the estimates are accurate, arguing that there is insufficient documentation about the properties' current market values and whether the values have increased since the last hearing.

"They are now saying [the properties] are worth more. The firm is Creative Bail Bonds and they may have earned their name," Huntsman told The Times in an interview before the hearing.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, right, and his attorney James Spertus during a bail hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

Mexico here we come!

Another jurist supporting rethuglican teatards=no surprise there is it?

Hmmmmmmm..... Judge Mary Lou Vilar is Mayor Villariagosa's sister... any family connection to the City of Bell there???

California’s public pension crisis is a lot worse than anyone suspected and threatens to bankrupt the state if investment rates fail, says a report released today by the California Center for Public Policy.

The report says that the state’s tax-paid pensions have made defacto millionaires out of most of California’s employees by the time they reach their late 50s. Meanwhile, public safety and other employees frequently pay less than half or none of their retirement benefits, says the report, “Reforming Public Employee Pensions and Compensation.”

“Whether the standard is salary, working conditions, benefits or especially pensions, public employees in California receive compensation far in excess of what workers in the private sector do,” says the report. “It is illiberal and unjust.”

State public employees are among the highest compensated in the United States, says the study.

The crisis was caused by inaccurate actuarial assumptions on investment returns, the number of government employees in the future and how long retirees will live, the report said.

“Both the short-term and the long-term fiscal crises at the state and local government levels require change immediately,” says the study. “The status quo is unsustainable.”

The answer is to pay public employees fair salaries, benefits and pensions, not salaries, benefits and pensions greatly in excess of those in the private sector, the report advises.

Read the whole report here Californiacenterforpublicpolicy.

The judge is a fool.
All his assets are based on his overpay.
More discretionary money the more too invest.
His success is a crime and Belle should confiscate all his money.

Mans house burning, fireman watching. As an example to others to pay their fees his house burns to the ground.
This mayor will not be made an example.

Rizzo has that chiseled debonair look about him...

Actually, he looks more like Jabba-the-Hut...

So he makes bail using properties that may have increased in value since the last hearing? Apparently, these properties are exempt from CA's economy. The people of Bell deserve much more.

Rizzo is just a wee-bit more bold than the usual dem or repub......looking at California's dire straights, the warped menagerie of incestuous political shenanigans, etc., you VOTERS might re-think your ingrained knee jerk foolishness in the voting booth over the past 40 years.....but I doubt it, with 100% CERTAINTY!!!

What a complete scuzzbag in every sense of the word.

Rizzo is the clichéd iconic embodiment and representation of 99.99% of every corrupt, self-enriching elected officials of both parties, especially those in Washington DC, Sacramento, City of L.A. etc.

With all his money, he'll find someway to flee or buy his way to freedom like all the other rich scumbags.

The article should also have mentioned that Judge Mary Lou Villar is the younger sister of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is under investigation by the same unit that's prosecuting Rizzo.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/02/local/me-villaraigosa2

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/23/local/la-me-mayor-tickets-20100623

First off Rizo still owes for unchonshiable crimes in hesperia where he was last run out so please drop the mob mentality bit counselor. Rizo is a sleeze and so are you for taking his tainted money, You deserve each other. If Rizo was smart he did a property bond pc 1298 www.diybb.com and didn't have to pay a bail bondsman but the way most attorneys work is they get a kick back from the Bail Bondsmans 10%. Rizo giving the circumstances should of nrver got bail. He is a political preadator and has no moral compass or conshience. Cooley guaranteed will fry Rizo royally and although recievorship's with sitting councels are unnavigated waters I am sure that Bell well sail thru with ease with Captain Brown at the helm. I am hoping for many more inditements in Bell maybe that is what you call a mob attitude but you will never again quiet the voter and Giant know that he has awoken from there long siesta.

Tierra Y Liberdad

ET Snell

Rizzo to be released from jail after judge accepts $2-million bail offer

Amazing that a city employee, could come up with $2 million or 10% to bond out....or is it?

EliKen

Senorita,

Judge Villar's a Democrat. Just like Rizzo.

What am I missing here that has everyone so upset? Rizzo post bail, which is his constitutional right and everyone is upset. Last time I checked the law is innocent until proven guilty, correct? I am by no means condoning what Rizzo did IF he is found guilty of it but to pass judgement based on what the prosecutors have released in their press releases seems a little premature. How would any of us Free Americans feel if we were arrested, had our funds frozen and then were told that you have a right to bail (if you can afford it with no money) and you have a right to an attorney (again if you can afford it cause the DA has all his money). I guess my main concern is one, Rizzo seems to have his basic civil rights removed because it is a political climate and two, where was the investigations into this before it was election season? Why wasn't anyone that was in the position to investigate this, do so before the LA Times broke the story?

Legal Immigrant is right. The most corrupt judges in the Los Angeles courts are democrats. I would love to name names but the judges I'd mention are vindictive little tyrants.

Hard to believe, Mayor Villaraigosa's sister, Mary Lou Vilar satisfied to released a scamb-bag politician! We definitely lack smart people in our government, no legal value whatsoever. I am sorry for the residents of Bell paying high property taxes for so many years in order to finance corrupted politician's salaries.


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