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Robert Rizzo cashed in vacation and sick pay at $304 an hour, Bell officials claim

November 25, 2010 | 10:26 am


Calling its former top administrator an embezzler who stole millions from the city treasury, the city of Bell on Wednesday took legal action against Robert Rizzo, alleging unjust enrichment, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.

The complaint seeks to have Rizzo return millions to the city.

"Robert Rizzo embezzled, stole and misappropriated millions of dollars in city funds by obtaining grossly excessive and completely unwarranted compensation packages," the complaint alleges.

Rizzo, who resigned in July after The Times revealed his lucrative salary, is one of eight people charged in a public corruption case by the Los Angeles County district attorney. Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown also is suing Rizzo and others over the alleged misappropriation of public money.

The cross-complaint was filed in response to a complaint filed by Rizzo last month seeking to be indemnified by the city. Jamie Casso, Bell's interim city attorney, said the city was seeking to have that request tossed out.

The complaint accuses Rizzo of fattening his paycheck by creating his own contracts, assigning portions of his salary to various agencies and — each year — cashing in approximately 107 days of vacation and 36 days of sick time at $304 an hour.

Read more: "Bell seeks millions from Rizzo."


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-- Ruben Vives

Photo: Robert Rizzo in court. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times