Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Robert Rizzo's Latest Bid to Screw Bell's Taxpayers Falls Short

The beleaguered taxpayers of Bell just got some good news: according to the Orange County Register, a judge has denied ex-City Manager Robert Rizzo's request to compel the city of Bell to reimburse his legal costs. You read that correctly: the guy being sued for defrauding the small Los Angeles County town out of millions wants the people suing him to pay for his lawyers.

In a lesson of what can happen when you sign binding agreements with bureaucrats, because Rizzo's alleged misconduct occurred during the course of his employment, defense attorney James Spertus had argued that Bell was bound by a 1996 contract, in which it agreed to pay the city manager's legal expenses. City attorney Deborah Fox, however, countered that Rizzo's actions were intended to enrich himself, and were unrelated to city business. A jury may still rule that the expenses can be reimbursed, but that would preclude settling the matter without a trial. In any case, the city's residents will doubtless be happy to know that no more of their money is going into Robert Rizzo's pockets.

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