Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Bell councilman 'ashamed,' 'disgusted' that Rizzo earned $1.5 million

August 8, 2010 |  9:00 am

Two Bell City Council members expressed shock Saturday when told that former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo was earning more than $1.5 million a year in salary and benefits.

They said they were not aware Rizzo received such lavish compensation.

Councilman Luis Artiga said he was "ashamed" after being told of the numbers. "I'm disgusted, I'm sick and I feel like crying," he said.

The Times reviewed Rizzo's benefits package for this year, which covers time off, retirement and medical and other types of insurance. The package entitled him to vacation and sick leave that totaled more than 28 weeks a year.

Bell's interim city attorney said Saturday that Rizzo's compensation package raised serious questions and that the city planned to investigate who approved the perks and whether they are legal.

Councilman Lorenzo Velez added: "I feel like I've been raped; my insides have been gutted out."

The newly reviewed records show that when the benefits package is added, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia's $376,288 salary more than doubles to $845,960. Police Chief Randy Adams' pay jumps from $457,000 to $770,046 annually.

Spaccia was to have received $188,640 in vacation and sick pay and Adams $76,428, the records show. Adams, according to his contract, was to have received lifetime medical benefits for him and his family.

Spaccia declined to comment. Adams said he was accumulating sick time and vacation days in a usual manner but was not being paid extra for the days.

-- Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives

More: Benefits push compensation to $1.5 million.

Investigating Bell: A Times special report:

Is a city manager worth $800,000?

Interactive: How much does your city manager make?

Interactive: How the salaries got so high

Interactive: Paying too much? How property taxes compare

Video: Why do Bell officials make so much money?

Photos: Protests in Bell