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Bell pensions on hold until investigation is finished

July 28, 2010 |  5:31 pm

Three highly paid administrators in Bell will not be permitted to draw their state pensions until the attorney general determines whether the city broke the law in awarding the hefty paychecks, according to an official with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

“CalPERS is concerned about the situation, and our intention is to not [to] entertain applications for pensions from any of these people until the investigation is complete,” said Pat Macht, the agency's external affairs director.

The Times reported reported earlier this month that Bell's top officials received some of the highest municipal wages in the nation.

City Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo made $787,637 a year, almost twice the salary of President Obama; Police Chief Randy Adams made $457,000, 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck; and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia made $376,288, more than the top administrator for Los Angeles County.

All three resigned last week in the face of mounting anger in the small, working-class city southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

In retirement, Rizzo would become the highest-paid retiree in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the state’s big pension system. He would earn more than $600,000 a year for the rest of his life, according to calculations made by The Times and reviewed by pension experts.

Rizzo would be the highest-paid person in the state's pension system and Adams, who would receive an estimated $411,000, would be the third-highest paid.

“CalPERS is working closely with the attorney general on this matter and not a dollar will be paid until we have the full and complete picture,” Macht said.

-- Marc Lifsher in Sacramento