Grand jury transcripts reveal funds that were placed in secret plan for former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo and chief deputy, Angela Spaccia.
A special pension fund set up by former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo and his top aide to boost the already generous compensation paid to city employees contains $4.5 million, according to grand jury transcripts obtained by The Times, providing a potential lifeline to a city on the brink of insolvency.
According to grand jury testimony, Rizzo established two pension plans designed to provide retirement income — above the level he and other employees would receive from the state pension system. One retirement account covered about 40 employees, giving them benefits that exceeded those allowed by California’s public employee pension rules. A second was just for Rizzo and his deputy, Angela Spaccia, according to the transcripts, allowing them to get around IRS regulations capping government pensions.
The discovery of the money could be a huge boost for the finances of Bell, whose entire operating budget is about $13 million and is faced with major budget cuts in the wake of a corruption scandal. City officials said Monday that they were looking into whether they could use the $4.5 million to reduce the city’s budget deficit.
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