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Bell 8: Rizzo rushed to hospital with chest pains during break in court hearing [Updated]

Robert Rizzo with Angela Spaccia, left.

Former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo was rushed to a local hospital Wednesday after experiencing chest pains during a lunch break in the ongoing court hearing that will determine whether he will stand trial for public corruption.

Rizzo's immediate condition was not clear, but his attorney, James Spertus, denied initial reports that the former city leader had collapsed.

The courtroom had cleared for lunch and Rizzo was sitting on a bench in the hallway near a restroom when he began to experience light-headedness and chest pains, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Donna Gannon, a longtime Bell resident who was attending the hearing, said paramedics brought Rizzo out of the courthouse on a gurney with a towel over his face.

Los Angeles city fire officials confirmed they had taken a 50-year-old male from the courthouse to Good Samaritan Hospital but would not confirm it was Rizzo.

Spertus said he expected that the criminal hearing would be adjourned for the day but would not know until court resumes Wednesday afternoon.

Rizzo has been the face of the salary scandal in Bell, which resulted in eight former and current city leaders being charged with misappropriation of public funds.

[Updated 2:05 p.m. Court has been adjourned for the day because of Rizzo's medical emergency.

There was little discussion of the episode after court reconvened following a noon break.

"I understand Mr. Rizzo has become ill," Judge Henry J. Hall said.]


Rizzo won't dispute many facts in corruption case

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-- Corina Knoll, Jeff Gottlieb, Andrew Blankstein and Ruben Vives

Photo: Robert Rizzo with former assistant Angela Spaccia, also a defendant, at Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (42)

Sounds like somebody had a panic attack.

They weren't pangs of conscience.

Probably faking it on the advice of his lawyers. If it's real, maybe he'll croak. If so, who gets all of his money? Just asking.

I agree.. Panic attack...LOOL

Maybe he was worried that Steve Lopez would track him down again. What hospital was he taken to?

If you would lose some 100 pounds maybe you would survive this. You are a disgrace and this pain you are feeling is a sign of guilt!

Hey, it's stress-related probably. He deserves it, too. Could stand to lose about 100 lbs also it looks like...heart attack/stroke waiting to happen.

for some reason, every crook ends up complaining of chest pain. remember madoff?

Not to worry, in jail he'll lose some weight with that bad food in there.

I hope this crook doesn't ask Bell taxpayers to pick up the tab for his ambulance ride.

Panic attack? Look at how rotund this guy is! It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the guy has clogged coronary arteries and the stress of his legal woes triggered a case of angina or an actual heart attack.

This guy continues to be a financial burden: legal expenses, clogging the court system, EMTs...sheesh!

How do you have chest pains when you have no heart?

I can't even believe he's 50. He look like 70.

it can't be a heart attack since he doesn't have a heart.

Many have done far worse than Rizzo. Many have done far worse than Madoff. All too often worse does not mean economic.

The b@stard better not croak until after he spends some more time in jail!

Sounds like some acid reflux coming from that huge frame.

I heard reports that he was caught eating $100 bills thinking they were his lunch.



Years of gluttony catching up with him. Gorging himself on our tax dollars. I am a compassionate person but I feel no remorse for any of these Bell leaders. Everyone one of them should be tarred and feathered. Thieves and scoundrels, they should all be ashamed of their greed. Disgusting.

With all the money he made and has, I hope he's paying the hospital bill and not the taxpayers!!!!

If he dies, he wins. The money can't be taken back from him unless convicted and his heirs would get to keep it.

One would think through all this he would've already lost some pounds from stress ...I guess not the devil himself. Lol!

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