|The rat gets the cheese|
Whopping $800,000 salary is a ticket to prison for Bell's Rizzo (link): In January of 2011, the attorney representing Robert Rizzo told me his client would beat the 69 public corruption charges against him. Citizens had a right to be ticked off about the Bell administrator's staggering $800,000 a year in compensation, lawyer Jim Spertus said, but no crimes had been committed.
Now Spertus is singing a different tune, and apparently, Rizzo will be doing his own singing, soon.
"Mr. Rizzo wants to make amends to the citizens of Bell for engaging in wrongdoing," Spertus said in explaining Rizzo's surprise "no contest" plea today, a week before scheduled jury selection, "and we've been able to negotiate a fair and just outcome that will hopefully establish that Ms. Spaccia was the mastermind behind all the greed that led to the charges."
Spertus was talking about Rizzo's deputy, Angela Spaccia, who's got her own corruption trial pending.
That's beautiful, isn't it? An attempt to spin Rizzo as a poor sap who now finally admits his grotesque ripoff of Bell citizens, but claims he was sucked into it by Spaccia. Can we expect him to testify against her now, or will Spaccia cut her own deal?
It's all a little disappointing, really, because I was looking forward to watching Rizzo squirm in court. But still, a case that began with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative work by The Times' Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb will land Rizzo in the big house for 10 or more years.
And the scandal led to statewide scrutiny, and reform, of the various tricks and schemes used by public officials to pad their compensation and retirement pay.
L.A. Dist. Atty Jackie Lacey said that if Rizzo does 10 or 12 years, as he's apparently agreed to do, it would stand as longest sentence ever in an L.A. County corruption case.
Makes you wonder whether, going back a century or so, prosecutors just haven't been trying hard enough.
The waters of the SGVMWD still do not flow in Sierra Madre
(Mod: The so-called temporary hook up with the disinfectant rich waters of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has still not begun. This event apparently is a bit like the horizon in the desert, it just never seems to get any closer. This from the City Manager's Report.)
SGVMWD Connection Update: California Health department has given Water Superintendent Reynoso a verbal approval to begin using water from the SGVMWD connection, with the written permission amendment to be delivered to the City next week. We will hold off actually taking the water until Monday at the earliest; we want to have full water staff on site when we start taking the water, so that we can respond to customer inquiries and to ensure that the high level of monitoring that will initially be needed, is covered.